Sri Lanka president frees 2 ethnic Tamil students

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Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 8:33 AM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's president has ordered the release of two ethnic Tamil university students detained for nearly three months for honoring fallen fighters from the defeated Tamil Tiger rebel group.

The office of the presidential spokesman said Tuesday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa made the decision in response to appeals by the students' parents while on a visit to Jaffna in the northern Tamil heartland.

Rajapaksa's government has been criticized by international human rights groups since four students were arrested in November. Two have already been released.

The United States says it is sponsoring a resolution on Sri Lanka at meetings of the United Nations human rights council starting later this month in Geneva.

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