150 ex-LTTE cadres to be released in Sri Lanka
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 21:16
Colombo: The government is in the final stages of releasing 150 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres in Sri Lanka's northern Vavuniya district, a top military official said on Tuesday.

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

The authorities are making arrangements to release the 150 LTTE cadres on Friday after the completion of the rehabilitation programme.

The announcement comes amid plans by the government to lift the draconian emergency laws in force in the country for most of the past 30 years.

Prime Minister D M Jayaratne told the parliament that steps have already been taken "to lift emergency regulations in consultation with the (National) Security Council".

The rehabilitated former combatants have been given training in vocational, language and communication to improve their skills and their educational knowledge, authorities were quoted as saying by Colombopage, the Sri Lankan online newspaper.

Some 11,700 LTTE cadres had surrendered to the security forces during and after the final phase of the ethnic war that ended in May 2009.

So far 7,969 of them have been released and 2,879 former cadres are being rehabilitated in camps, according to Major General Ranasinghe.

He said the former LTTE fighters could play a pivotal role in rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in the war-ravaged northern province.


First Published: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 21:16

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