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594 child soldiers among 12,000 LTTE members rehabilitated by Sri Lanka govt

There were 594 child soldiers among those rehabilitated during the period from 2008 to 2018, the RTI reply said.

Reported by: PTI, Colombo [ Updated: July 24, 2018 19:25 IST ]
File photo of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India 

File photo of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India 

The Sri Lankan government has rehabilitated and integrated into society nearly 12,186 former LTTE members, including 594 child soldiers, according to a Right to Information (RTI) reply. 

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had run a military campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of the island nation for nearly 30 years before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. 

Nearly 4,156 of the rehabilitated former LTTE members were between the age of 20-29 years and 1,084 of them were female cadres. The highest number of 5,586 rehabilitation took place in 2010, the figures revealed. 

The RTI application was filed at the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation by a journalist, Tharindu Jayawardena. The application was initially rejected on the grounds of privacy of the rehabilitated LTTEs and that it might endanger national security. 

However, arguing that the information only related to statistics and pose no danger for national security or privacy, he moved the RTI Commission, the legal body which is set up to hear cases where information requests are rejected or ignored, according to Daily News. 

The Commission ordered that all the information which Jayawardena had sought, be released, it said. 

There were 594 child soldiers among those rehabilitated during the period from 2008 to 2018, the RTI reply said. 

Sri Lanka's RTI Act came into force in February 2017. 

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