78 former LTTE fighters released to mark Thai Pongal

Sri Lanka released 48 females and 30 males rehabilitated former LTTE cadres.

Updated: Jan 15, 2011, 18:49 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities have released 78 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres today to mark Thai Pongal, the widely celebrated Tamil Hindu harvest festival.

Officials said 48 females and 30 males have been handed over to their families in Vavuniya, after they had undergone rehabilitation.
Earlier in the month, rehabilitation officials said that nearly a half of former combatants who successfully completed the comprehensive rehabilitation process left the detention centres.

At lest 5,586 former LTTE carders out of 11,696 left rehabilitation centres after receiving vocational training during the rehabilitation process,media reported early this month quoting commissioner general of rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe.
There were 24 rehabilitation centers at the beginning of the programme and only 9 are remaining now, officials said.