Norway assists reintegration of Sri Lanka’s former rebel combatants

Nov 02, Colombo: The Royal Norwegian Government has provided assistance to the International Organization for Migration to contribute to the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate former Tamil Tiger rebel soldiers.

The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo said today that it has contributed NOK 3 million (approximately Rs. 57 million) to support the IOM programme that is assisting reintegration and reconciliation of former LTTE cadres into their own society.

Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad and IOM Chief of Mission Mr. Richard Danziger signed the grant agreement Wednesday (02) at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, an Embassy press release said.

The Norwegian Ambassador Ms. Haraldstad, while emphasizing the importance of social and economic reintegration of ex-cadres of LTTE remarked that it is important to assist the former fighters to return home and to start a new life.

Ms. Haraldstad said the “IOM programme is geared to meet their urgent needs and will provide the ex-cadres with a foundation from which they can start a livelihood and rebuild their lives.”

The IOM programme for reintegration of former cadres of LTTE has been implemented since 2009. It is designed to support longer term peace and human security needs both at the individual and community level by supporting the reintegration of former cadres both economically and socially. IOM has already provided direct assistance to more than 3000 former LTTE cadres, enabling them to start new livelihoods, by providing training, tools, small grants and job placement.

Norway continuously supports rebuilding of the conflict-ridden areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka covering a wide range of activities which address humanitarian needs, recovery and development, the Embassy said. The support promotes humanitarian demining, shelter, rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure, livelihood, food security, education and training.

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