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Norway contributes to rehabilitation of former LTTE cadres

[Hindu, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 10:19 No Comment]

Norway has joined the international effort aimed at assisting reintegration and reconciliation of former LTTE cadres into society.

The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo has contributed NOK 3 million (approximately Sri Lankan Rs. 57 million) to support the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM) programme towards the purpose.

Sri Lanka has released, in batches, most of the former LTTE cadre, barring the hardcore ones, charged with serious offences. The last batch of 400 former LTTE cadres was released last week.

Rehabilitation and re-integration into society of the former LTTE cadre has been a difficult task. According to anecdotal accounts, while the society itself is not very welcoming of the LTTE cadre, many of those former LTTE cadres are not used to living in homes. Realising this, many countries, including India and Norway have contributed in diverse ways to help the war-torn society get back to normalcy. The Indian effort has focussed on creating self-sufficient women groups and setting up vocational training schools, where the local administration handles admission processes.

Signs MoU

On Wednesday, Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad and IOM Chief of Mission Richard Danziger signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo.

Announcing the contribution at the signing ceremony, Ms. Haraldstad emphasised the importance of social and economic reintegration of ex-cadres of LTTE. “It is important to assist them to return home and to start a new life. The IOM programme is geared to meet their urgent needs and will provide the ex-cadres with a foundation from which they can start a livelihood and rebuild their lives,” she said

The IOM programme for reintegration of former cadres of LTTE has been implemented since 2009. It is designed to support longer term peace and human security needs both at the individual and community level by supporting the reintegration of former cadres both economically and socially. IOM has already provided direct assistance to more than 3000 former LTTE cadres, enabling them to start new livelihoods, by providing training, tools, small grants and job placement.

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