Ex-LTTE members may make it to Asian Games: Lankan minister

Published: 23rd April 2013 12:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2013 12:19 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

About 18 former LTTE members, including four shooters, could enter Sri Lanka's Asian Games contingent, the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has said.

"We have sent them to the sports hostel in Colombo where they would train for Asian Games", Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera said, adding that, "Four of them are shooters".

He made the comments while addressing a ceremony over the weekend to pay compensation to the conflict affected people in the eastern district of Batticaloa.

The minister said that the 18 selected rehabilitated youth have been referred to the ministry of sports for the furtherance of their skills.

"During the last days of rehabilitation programme we identified at least 180 youth for their sporting skills. There were youth with shooting skills among them are also Karatekas, footballers and even swimmers", Gajadeera said.

He said that the former LTTE members had shown good skills as marksmen during the nearly three-decade-old separatist conflict.

Rehabilitation officials say that only around 450 out of a total of 11,500 former LTTE members remain in the process currently.

Sri Lanka received international assistance for its programme of rehabilitating ex-combatants.

Rehabilitation of ex-combatants and resettlement of the war displaced are two areas where Sri Lanka has come under praise amidst criticism of lack of accountability for rights issues.

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