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* ICRC resumes visits to Sri Lanka's LTTE rehabilitation camps
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 01:40 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 25, Colombo: A delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) last week has visited the rehabilitation camps housing the former combatants of the Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the North.

The Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation said the ICRC resumed visits to the rehabilitation centers administered under the Bureau.

The Commissioner General Brigadier Darshana Hettiarachchi said an ICRC team visited the Maradamadhu Center in Vavuniya on February 22 and spent over three hours inspecting the facilities.

According to the Commissioner General, ICRC had not been provided access to camps since early 2010.

Meanwhile a delegation from the Japanese Embassy visited the Poonthottam Rehabilitation Centre also on February 22.

The former LTTE cadres undergoing rehabilitation receive vocational training during their rehabilitation program to learn skills that could find them employment once they are reintegrated into the society.

The Maradamadhu Center offers courses in Carpentry and, Masonry while Poonthottam Center offers a beauty cultural course for female inmates, and Sinhala and English language courses.

Some of the released cadres are able to obtain concessionary loans from the government to start their own businesses.

Of the over 11,600 former rebel cadres surrendered to the military at the end of war in 2009, only a few hundred remain in rehabilitation camps now.

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