COLOMBO, Aug 31: The exchange of prisoners between the LTTE and government scheduled for Saturday was cancelled, but the exchange would take place within 10 days, a source at the International Committee of the Red Cross said here.
The Sri Lankan government, after releasing five LTTE prisoners on Friday, in a last minute decision shelved the release of 16 members of the LTTE pending legal inquiries for previous acts of terrorism. Altogether 23 prisoners were to be handed over to the LTTE in exchange for seven government military personnel held by the LTTE.
However the exchange was called off by the Government with the explanation that there were legal intricacies involved. The list of names of the LTTE prisoners, all hardcore Tigers who had infiltrated Colombo in the past on “special assignments”, had been provided by the LTTE. However the release of two prisoners has been refused on the plea pointing out that they were key suspects in a bombing which took place in 2001.