Vivek attends mass wedding of 53 ex-LTTE combatants
Sri Lankan military had made arrangements for wedding of ex-LTTE combatants.
Colombo: As many as 53 former LTTE combatants tied the nuptial knot in a mass wedding ceremony witnessed by Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, and several Sri Lankan leaders in Vavuniya on Sunday.
Sri Lanka military had made arrangements for the wedding of 53 rehabilitated LTTE combatants that was held at Pampaimadu in Vavuniya district from 7.00 am on Sunday.
Hindu and Christian priests conducted the wedding with the Registrars of Marriages summoned to do the needful. The crowd that gathered to witness the wedding was served ladoos and cakes on the occasion.
The Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Brig Sundantha Ranasinghe who has under his care about 9000 ex-LTTE cadre, was among those who took the initiative for holding the mass wedding.
According to him, some of these couples may have already entered into the wedlock by the way of mutual verbal commitment or at a temple.
"But these marriages are not recognised by law. They have no marriage certificates. The mass marriage will give the relationships the required legal status, and help the couples settle down in society without any hassles," Ranasinghe told the media.
Hundreds of young men and women of the North who were forced to spreading terrorism have now been reintegrated into society under a special programme launched by the military, an official release said on the occasion.
These ex-combatants underwent rehabilitation for a period of nine months. Members of the Defence made a vital contribution in imparting them the vocational training and also raising awareness about society.
"These youths have now realised the crimes they have committed by getting involved in a militant outfit," the release said.
Earlier this week, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa met rehabilitated ex-combatants who received vocational training in the eastern rehabilitation centres.
He also gave away proficiency certificates to them at the Senapura Rehabilitation Centre in Welikanda in Southern Sri Lanka.
Expressing his views on the matter, the Defence Secretary said all these youths had the capability of directing their lives on the right track.
"They had been duped by the LTTE outfit and now they have been re-integrated into society after rehabilitation that would pave the way for their future," he said.
Meanwhile, the military also took efforts to bring down the parents of the couple for the wedding for securing their consent.
This is intended to make these marriages foolproof and to avoid any possible legal problems in the future.
Over 2000 ex LTTE cadres out of over 11,000 surrendered militants have been rehabilitated and released so far. They include 847 females, 253 children and 55 university students, officials said.
In all, there were about 148 university students among the cadres including 51 girls.