It is the unity among all communities in the country, not the ethnic division which will bring our success”, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
"We will not allow petty politics to harm the communal harmony reinstated after defeat of terrorism," President said addressing a group of rehabilitated ex- LTTE cadres at Temple Trees yesterday.
A batch of 1,250 rehabilitated ex cadres reintegrated into society received livelihood loans at a ceremony held under the patronage of President at Temple Trees yesterday.
The former combatants from Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullativu and Kilinochchi districts, who have undergone a year of vocational training at rehabilitation centers, received the loans to start self-employment of small industries, agricultural projects and other vocational training programs.
You were forced to sacrifice your youth and happiness for cultivating hatred and division among people and now it is the time for you to begin a new life with hope and vigour for a brighter future, President told the ex-combatants.
All of you are equal stakeholders of the massive development progress Sri Lanka is witnessing today and this initiative will provide the opportunity for you step into the society as dignified individuals, President added.
“By working with commitment and dedication you could become successful entrepreneurs, President Rajapaksa said.
The loans with a maximum limit of Rs. 250,000, administered through the Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank and National Savings Bank will carry a 4 percent interest rate with a 10-year repayment period. Only the interest is required to be paid back during the first year.
A sum of 300 million rupees will be allocated to Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank and National Savings Bank for this purpose.
During and immediately after the final phase of the war 11,700 LTTE cadres have surrendered to the government security forces or arrested by the security forces.
The government has spent Rs. 2.5 billion on the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadres since the conflict ended in May 2009.