President tells special ceremony:
Ex-LTTE cadres will be integral part of dev.
*Rehab programme at 24 centres
*Country belongs to all
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday vowed that former LTTE
combatants who were rehabilitated by the government would be integrated
into the development process of the country.
The President made this announcement at a ceremony at Temple Trees to
reunite over 1,800 rehabilitated youths with their families yesterday.
The ceremony was organized by the Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms
Ministry. He added that the government is responsible to ensure a better
future for rehabilitated ex-LTTEers while obtaining their talents and
skills for the development of the country.
These ex-LTTEers underwent a two year rehabilitation programme at 24
rehabilitation centres in the North and the East. The reintegration
event was held under the theme “Ekvenu Sema Nagamu Rata” (Lets get
together and uplift the country) with the participation of President
Rajapaksa, ministers, foreign dignitaries including ambassadors and High
During the rehabilitation programme, rehabilitated beneficiaries had
undergone various life skill development courses which will be a
livelihood for them once they enter society. At the end of the event,
these 1,800 rehabilitated beneficiaries were handed over to their
Addressing the beneficiaries of the rehabilitation programme,
President Rajapaksa said that these youths are an asset which has to be
made best use of, for the development of the country. The government has
succeeded in rehabilitating the majority of former LTTE cadres and they
have already been reintegrated into society. A few more former LTTE
cadres are yet to be integrated into society, President Rajapaksa said.
He said that the government never considered these youths as enemies
of the country and this policy paved the way for the rehabilitation of
thousands of former LTTE combatants.
“We are ready to extend the hands of friendship and brotherhood to
these rehabilitated youth,” he said. He said that the rehabilitated
youths are entitled to have all rights and privileges enjoyed by the
ordinary masses of the country. “You are a member of this society and
you are able to travel anywhere in the country with peace of mind, he
He said that these rehabilitated youth will witness massive
development taking place in their respective areas when they return to
their houses. Schools and other public buildings damaged by the
terrorist atrocities are being replaced with fully equipped schools and
office complexes in your area, he said.
He also said that all households would be provided with electricity
while ensuring a better living environment. Development will never be
polarised. President Rajapaksa also added that certain elements with
vested interests will try to take these youths for a ride and he advised
them not to fall prey to such schemes.
He reiterated that, he is not ready to betray thousands of people and
drag the country into another conflict to fulfil the aspirations of a
few. The President assured that the government will leave no room for
the re- emergence of another conflict in the country. He also said that
nobody is allowed to mislead the youths again. President Rajapaksa
requested the rehabilitated beneficiaries to join hands with government
and develop the country which belongs to the people of all communities.
“Lets develop the country not only for you but also for your
brothers, sisters and for the future generation, he said.