Sri Lanka drafts in ex-LTTE members in SAG shooting probables

Updated: Oct 23, 2012, 12:58 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka has included three ex-LTTE marksmen as members of the national rifle shooters` pool for the South Asian Games to be held in New Delhi next year.

The three ex-LTTErs -- Kanakasuntharam Rajeewan, Thayabaran Thaventhiran and Sellamuttu Suresh Kumar -- are among 135 who are undergoing athletics training at the rehabilitation centres.

They received shooting rifles from Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage recently at the ministry.

"The Ministry of Sports hopes they can represent Sri Lanka at the South Asian Games (SAG) in New Delhi next year. Ex -LTTE members who have shown exceptional skill, on par with national level athletes have been selected for national squads," a Sport Ministry spokesman said.

"These athletes were chosen at talent identification camps held for former LTTE members undergoing rehabilitation," he added.

Nearly 11,000 LTTErs who had surrendered to government troops during the final battle in May 2009 were put through the process of rehabilitation where they were given life skills and English language training.

Most of them have been reintegrated in to civilian life, officials said.