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Rehabilitation of LTTE ex combatants the priority

A concerned leader among the soldiers during the humantarian operations.

Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Suhada Gamlath explained as to what measures would be taken to rehabilitate the ex combatants of the LTTE who were the members of a cult that wore a cyanide capsule around their necks and showed no hesitation to obey the orders to turn themselves into human bombs.

Secretary to the Justice and Law Reforms Ministry, Suhada Gamlath was appointed as the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was a Deputy Solicitor General at the Attorney General Department at the time when he was appointed to the post of Secretary to the Justice and Law Reforms Ministry.

No doubt we have reached a very significant watershed in the events of the history of the country particularly, in the post independent era. This is a time to be deeply and sincerely engaged in a broad based soul searching process, as a nation. The creation of a monstrous figure like Prabhakaran must be due to some factors that went wrong in the contemporary history of our nation.

Based on the deeply sad experiences that this nation has been experiencing for the past few decades we presently, directly encountered with the task of finding ways and means to generate nurture and foster a pluralistic society in which we could all be living in harmony especially without having to resort to violent and turbulent political courses of actions.

It is in this context we should be very seriously examining the conceptual philosophical, and the political message President Mahinda Rajapaksa so eloquently presented to the whole world on Tuesday morning in his address to the nation.

"I would like to suggest that the copies of his speech be made available to all educational institutions, schools and government institutions etc. so that its contents can be turned into a pragmatic basis upon which the nation that we all aspire to build for a peaceful and a harmonious existence can be fashioned.

"On my part as the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation of ex-combatants of the LTTE, I am being very specifically advised by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to approach the subject in a humane and a legalistic manner that is compatible with the international standards followed by the Committee of Nations in dealing with rehabilitation of surrendee who are members of a terrorist organization."

Many people are not aware of the salutary work that has been carried out by this Government to help the LTTE combatants to rehabilitate themselves and to reintegrate into society.

This by no means is an easy task for many of the ex combatants were members of a cult that wear a cyanide capsule around their necks and showed no hesitation to obey the orders to turn themselves into human bombs.

The Most Pertinent Question....

How do we deal with these crowds is one of the most pertinent questions at this juncture.

We have already established very finely organized three centers for this purpose. One in the Eastern Province while another in the Northern Province.

Another special centre is well established for the rehabilitation of the ex child combatants. Our approach is to rehabilitate these people under four modules.

Namely those modules are Psycho-social rehabilitation, Vocational Rehabilitation, Religious Rehabilitation and Social Rehabilitation. There are a large number of Governmental and non-Governmental personnel and organizations involved in doing this business.

The Government is spending a large sum of money out of the President's Vote for the rehabilitation programs. "We are grateful to the UNICEF for helping to maintain the center specially meant for the ex LTTE child combatants.

Rehabilitation of ex LTTE combatants is undoubtedly one of the most important features involved in the post-conflict era.

Sri Lanka is uniquely placed in the international arena in doing this successfully for it was in 1971, we initiated a well structured rehabilitation program for the JVP ex insurrects.

That was a program very successful in achieving its goals.

So much so it received many plaudits and accolades from even the international community.

The President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already appointed a very high powered committee consisting of officials from the legal and Justice Sectors relevant to the subjects to come out with a viable program to be launched to rehabilitate the large numbers of ex combatants whose number, according the sources of the Forces, exceeds even 4000 persons.

This has to be a structured program and its success is going to be very crucial in our endeavours to achieve a peaceful nation in the post conflict era and this presently is the most pre-occupied subject in our minds.

Where should the misled Tamil Youths be directed.....

The disgruntled and the misled Tamil youths should be shown a new path devoid of violence. They should be told we are brothers and sisters and in this nation there are only two categories of persons.

"They are as the President Mahinda Rajapaksa pronounced it eloquently on Tuesday morning, those who love our motherland and those who do not love our motherland." This spiritual land of ours has offered us everything in abundance.

We shall take every endeavor to show the ex combatants to develop that feeling of love for this wonderful country of ours, which is by all means theirs as well.


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