Sinhala language skills for ex-LTTErs
The remaining ex-LTTE combatants in the government’s protective
accommodation and rehabilitation centres in the country are to receive
Sinhala language training as part of their rehabilitation.
There are 698 former LTTE cadres remaining in the rehabilitation
centres at present and the government has released over 11, 000 former
LTTE cadres after rehabilitating them.
The government has reportedly allocated Rs 720 million for the
rehabilitation process of former LTTE cadres this year, sources at
National Languages and Social Integration Ministry said. National
Language and Social Integration Ministry’s National Language Unit has
been tasked with conducting language training programmes for these ex
LTTE cadres as part of the government’s social integration programme,
the Daily News learns.
National Language Unit Director General Prasad Herath yesterday said
they have started Sinhala language courses for former LTTE combatants at
the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Center in Welikanda.
He said 90 ex militants are being given Sinhala language training at
the Welikanda rehabilitation camp.” They will be released to society
with enhanced communication and vocational skills,”he said.
Sinhala Language Unit’s language staff together with Sinhala language
teachers of universities are teaching the former LTTE combatants, he
National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva
Nanayakkara had instructed National Language Unit officials to begin
Sinhala language training programmes for ex- militants at protective and
rehabilitation centres in the North.
“We will soon introduce our language training programme to ex-LTTE
cadres at rehabilitation camps in the Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and
Mullativu districts,”Herath said.
The aim of this programme is to enable them to get along with the
public anywhere in the country, to build confidence in them, paving the
way for them to integrate with society on a firm footing, he explained.
Asked about their job security, Herath said, “they are being given
vocational training in various crafts such as woodcraft, masonry and
plumbing, to name a few” “They had a tough time during the war. Some of
them have lost their legs, sight and some their arms. There are some
lawyers among the ex-LTTE cadres who are currently under
rehabilitation,” he said.
They will be able to practise Law once they are released to society
with the skills they gather as a result of our efforts, he explained.
“I must say we were able to dispel many misconceptions that they had
about skills development programmes for them. They have shown greater
skills than we expected.
“Some of them did not even know how to speak or write properly in
their own language but now most of them can write as a result of the
programme,” he said.
The government has reportedly spent over Rs 2.5 billion for the
rehabilitation process this year.
“We are also conducting language training programmes for public
servants in Jaffna, so that they will be able to speak in Sinhala when
they meet with Sinhala speaking people at their Divisional Secretariats
of other institutions. Our objective is to absorb at least three to five
public officers in each government institute that can speak both Tamil
and Sinhala languages to provide services to the public,” he said.
Tamil and Sinhala language skills have been made mandatory to public
servants under the Official Languages Act.