Colombo: Sri Lankan security forces are set to launch a drive to arrest around 50,000 military deserters amidst reports of their involvement in crime and other illegal activities.
Military officials said the deserters would be arrested and prosecuted.
In the past, military coordinated with police to apprehend the deserters and the same method is likely to be repeated.
The military had earlier offered deserters several amnesties to surrender both during the LTTE war and in the post war period. They were also offered a chance to delist from the service after the war ended last year.
Police reports have shown deserters' involvement in crime and illegal activities.
A combined team of police and army fought a battle with an underworld gang last week in the Kegalle district, killing six of its members. Four of them were deserters, police said.