Reconciliation with ex-LTTE combatants on track; rehabilitation, reintegration nearing completion


Maj. Gen. Jagath Wijetilleke

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Jagath Wijetilleke yesterday said that he would shortly take charge of four more LTTE cadres through courts. They would join 56 LTTE personnel, including a female undergoing rehabilitation at Poonthottam, Vavuniya; Maj. Gen. Wijetilleke said adding that the project was nearing completion though reconciliation process would take several years more.

At the conclusion of the war in May, 2009, the then government established over 20 rehabilitation camps in the Northern and Eastern provinces to accommodate those who had fought for the LTTE. However, only the facility at Poonthottam remained in operation now.

The Rehabilitation Chief said that the handing over of ex-combatants to the rehabilitation authority was always at the discretion of the judiciary.

Maj. Gen. Wijetilleke said that 12,084 LTTE personnel had been released in stages following rehabilitation, whereas the courts could have freed some.

Asked whether the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was still involved in the project, Maj. Gen. Wijetilleke said that the contract ended in 2013. The officer said that the post-war project had been divided into three segments, namely rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation. "We have now tackled the first two priorities and in the process of addressing reconciliation. It'll take time but we are confident of bringing the project to a successful conclusion."

Responding to a query, the official said that the government was continuing to look into the welfare of those who had been released over the years.


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