Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sri Lanka: Government says last batch of rehabilitated LTTE child soldiers, handed over to their parents

SOURCE: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Courtesy : Daily News

The last batch of rehabilitated LTTE child soldiers, 108 boys and 90 girls were handed over to their parents yesterday by the Rehabilitation Authority, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe told Daily News yesterday.

They were minors between the ages of 12 years to 17 years. So we had to hand them over to their parents legally through the legal court procedure. Government child probation officers, Social Services Department officers and relevant Divisional Secretaries were also present at the Vavuniya Magistrate's Courts when the children were handed back to their parents. All the children were given certificates, he explained.

"It was the wish of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that all ex-child soldiers of the terrorist group should be rehabilitated and given the opportunity to go back to their parents to resume normal lives," he noted. "These children were rehabilitated at the Hindu College, Ratmalana and they enjoyed life with us. These innocent children were forcibly conscripted to the terrorist movement by the terrorist leaders but now they are reformed as normal children again," he said.

"They played cricket, participated in camp fires, did scouting and learned a lot of other skills like any other child would learn in a Colombo school. They even went to the Mc Donalds and enjoyed meals," Brigadier Ranasinghe added.

See also Sydney Irresistible and Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits