Ex-Tamil Tigers to enter politics in Sri Lanka

Colombo, May 9 (IANS) Former Tamil Tigers who have completed rehabilitation programmes have expressed interest in entering politics, the Sri Lankan media reported Thursday.

Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that several rehabilitated former cadres of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) had expressed their desire to join politics.

Xinhua quoted him as saying that measures would be taken to help them contest future provincial level elections.

He cautioned that the Tamil diaspora and other elements were trying to disrupt peace in the country and were organising themselves to entice the Tamil youth back into battle.

“However we have appealed to the Tamil youth to resist such sinister attempts and enter politics in a democratic manner to win their rights and demands,” Gajadeera said.

According to the minister, so far six rehabilitated former LTTE members have expressed interest in contesting the next election.

Following the end of a three-decade conflict in 2009, over 11,000 former LTTE combatants surrendered to government forces.

They were subsequently divided into groups and sent to several camps to be rehabilitated under government designed programmes.

More than 10,500 cardres have since been released and returned to their homes in the northern and eastern provinces of the country.

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