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Sri Lanka justice minister denies mass detentions under anti-terror laws

Sri Lanka's justice minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa this week dismissed reports of the mass detention of Tamil political prisoners, stating that only 210 persons were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The Island newspaper, quoted Mr Rajapaksa as saying 134 people had been remanded, and 25 held under the PTA. Nine have been released on bail.

His comments as there has been increasing outcry from Tamil families and politicians over the existence of secret military run detention camps.

Speaking last week, Sri Lanka's prime minister denied that such camps exist.

"After we took over the government, there are no secret camps. I cannot speak for the time before that," Mr Wickremesinghe said in Jaffna on Friday.

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