150 rehabilitated LTTE cadres to be released Friday

Aug 09, Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities are making arrangements to release another batch of 150 rehabilitated LTTE cadres on Friday in Vavuniya upon their completion of the rehabilitation program.

The former combatants have been given training vocational, language and communication training to improve their skills and their educational knowledge, the authorities say.

Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said the cadres to be released are currently undergoing a final test in mason skills, handicraft work and paintings.

During and immediately after the final phase of the war 11,700 LTTE cadres have surrendered to the government security forces.

According to the Commissioner General so far 7,969 of them have been released and 2,879 former cadres are being rehabilitated in camps.

Initially there were 24 rehabilitation centers for them and now only 9 are in operation, Major General Ranasinghe has said.

He said that 302 rehabilitated LTTE cadres, 297 boys and five girls, are taking the GCE Advanced Level examination that is being conducted currently.

Over 50 percent of the rehabilitated ex-combatants had successfully completed the GCE Ordinary Level examination last December, the government said.

Sri Lanka has allocated Rs.750 million for the rehabilitation process for this year. The government says it has spent Rs. 2.5 billion on the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadres since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.

The Commissioner General says that former LTTE fighters could play a pivotal role in rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in the war-ravaged North.

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