The remaining ex-LTTE combatants who are undergoing government sponsored rehabilitation programmes are to receive Sinhala language training as part of their rehabilitation.
There are 698 former LTTE cadres remaining in the rehabilitation centres at present and the government has released over 11, 000 former LTTE cadres after completing rehabilitation.
The National Language Unit of National Language and Social Integration Ministry has been tasked with conducting language training programmes for these ex LTTE cadres as part of the government’s social integration programme.
National Language Unit Director General Prasad Herath said they have started Sinhala language courses for former LTTE combatants at the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Center in Welikanda.
He said 90 ex combatants are being given Sinhala language training at the Welikanda rehabilitation camp.
Sinhala Language Unit’s language staff together with Sinhala language teachers of universities are teaching the former LTTE combatants, he said.
National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara had instructed National Language Unit officials to begin Sinhala language training programmes for ex- militants at protective and rehabilitation centres in the North.
“We will soon introduce our language training programme to ex-LTTE cadres at rehabilitation camps in the Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Mullaitivu districts,” Herath said.
The aim of this programme is to enable them to get along with the public anywhere in the country, to build confidence in them, paving the way for them to integrate with society on a firm footing, he explained.
During and immediately after the final phase of the Humanitarian Operation 11,700 LTTE cadres have surrendered to the government security forces.
The government has allocated Rs.750 million for the rehabilitation process for this year and has spent Rs. 2.5 billion on the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadres since May 2009.
“We are also conducting language training programmes for public servants in Jaffna. Our objective is to absorb at least three to five public officers in each government institute that can speak both Tamil and Sinhala languages to provide services to the public,” National Language Unit Director General said.
Tamil and Sinhala language skills have been made mandatory to public servants under the Official Languages Act.
In January this year President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared 2012 as the Year for a Trilingual Sri Lanka.