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This article is taken from the Reconciliation Website, www.peaceinsrilanka.org which subsumes the old site www.peaceinsrilanka.lk used by the former Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP).

Former LTTE cadres participating in a leadership and entrepreneurship training programme in Vavuniya, January 2011.

I spent a couple of days in Vavuniya recently, to check on the progress of former Tiger cadres who were undergoing rehabilitation. I had allocated part of my decentralized budget for this purpose, initially for training some of the girls to teach English at primary level. However, by the time the allocations had been sent to the Government Agent for use, most of the girls had been released.

The Commissioner General of Rehabilitation suggested however that we do training for counseling instead. The need for this was obvious, but he went further, in proposing that we train some of the former cadres themselves in basic skills. He obtained the services of an expatriate from England, who had a deep interest in the youngsters as well as the skills. We got the necessary permission, with the full cooperation of the experienced Vavuniya Government Agent, Mrs Charles, and the programme started in December. When I visited the Centre on January 14th, they were rehearsing for a concert for Thai Pongal. Interestingly, the CGR had also got a few of his staff trained, and the way in which the young people interacted for the concert was particularly heartening.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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