The Sunday Leader

For Rehabilitated Cadres

By Easwaran Rutnam

Former LTTE cadre being re-united with his mother after rehabilitation, Vivek Oberoi with a rehabilitated LTTE cadre in Vavuniya, Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi and Udul Premaratne

Thousands of former LTTE cadres are being monitored by the military and intelligence officers despite being released back into society after undergoing rehabilitation, activists and human rights groups have claimed.
Some former rebels have even been threatened with death if they engage in any anti-government activities or join any group looking to overthrow the government.
Convener of the ‘We are Sri Lankans’ organization Udul Premaratne told The Sunday Leader that he had received information of soldiers visiting the houses of some rehabilitated LTTE cadres in Jaffna and warning them that they will be re-arrested if they support any anti-government organization.
“Some were even told that they will be shot,” Premaratne claimed.
He believes the warning was issued after some media reports quoted him as saying he had sought the support of rehabilitated LTTE cadres to stage protests against the government.
Premaratne says he has not met former LTTE cadres who had been freed after being rehabilitated but added that even if he did those former cadres should have the freedom to chose who they support.
“I heard the military had told your newspaper that former LTTE cadres cannot join any anti-government group or political party. That is not fair. They should be given proper freedom to support who they want,” he said.
Meanwhile Premaratne said that a student from the Peradeniya campus who had been arrested soon after the war on suspicion of having links with the LTTE was also warned by the police after being released. Premaratne said that the student, simply identified as Rasiah, was in detention for almost a year but was subsequently released.
However despite his release his movements continue to be monitored by police intelligence officers over fears he might get involved with anti-government forces.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) based in Brussels says it too has received information of former rebel being monitored even after release.
Alan Keenan, Senior Analyst and Sri Lanka Project Director of the International Crisis Group told The Sunday Leader that in some cases ex-cadres have been threatened and intimidated.
“We have gotten many reports from reliable sources, and some directly from ex-combatants, that those released from government “rehabilitation” centres after involvement – or suspected involvement – with the LTTE are monitored very closely, frequently visited by or made to report regularly to various branches of the intelligence and security services, and required to inform the authorities when they leave their home villages. We also know of some cases where ex-cadres have been threatened and intimidated. We also know of cases where the military has warned them against involvement in political activities that could challenge the government or military,” Keenan said.
Last month the government released 73 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres at a function held in Batticaloa and according to government figures another 550 still remain in detention.
Some 11,000 LTTE cadres were taken into custody following the war and underwent rehabilitation before being released and handed over to their families at public ceremonies in the north and east.

Police monitoring freed Tigers

The police and not the army are monitoring the movements of former LTTE cadres who have been released into society to make sure they do not get involved in any terrorist activities again, the military said.
Military spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi told The Sunday Leader that the monitoring is being conducted on the instructions of the Defence Ministry.
He insisted that the former LTTE cadres who have been set free have the freedom to take part in any political activities.
He said the former LTTE cadres are only being monitored for a period of one year to make sure they do not engage in any terrorism activities.

2 Comments for “For Rehabilitated Cadres”

  1. Kira

    Sri Lankan Government went the extra mile for those ex LTTE members by rehabilitation.No court found those men and wemen not guilty for the crimes they did in their past. As a well thought idea They were sent to rehabilitation, now release to general public. In any democracy “No person has a wright to vote,bare arms for any perpose. These men wemen chose a path of distruction in their early life. No matter they have to live with it.And face the dark reality, That we can call it living in real world. they better not be a member of any political party.

  2. nihalage

    It has to be done in relation to national security. Remember its only two and a half years that they have been rehabilitated. LTTE international Organisation is looking for opportunities to mobilize former ex-combatants.

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