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TMVP hands over 11 kids to government for rehabilitation

Daily Mirror

April 10, 2008

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights said yesterday that 11 children had been handed over to the Government for rehabilitation by the Tamil Makkal Viduthalaip Pulikal (TMVP).

The Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation, Suhada Gamlath, on behalf of the Government accepted these children, who are thought to have been involved in the conflict and directed relevant authorities to commence a programme of rehabilitation for them with immediate effect. In keeping with the Governmentís undertaking given to several international forums dealing with the issue of children and armed conflict, especially the UN Security Councilís Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, the Government has taken steps to secure the release of, and initiate programmes of rehabilitation for, the children caught up in the armed conflict.

The 11 children are being housed at a government facility outside Colombo and measures are underway to move them to a purpose-built rehabilitation centre shortly. The parents of the children will be given access to them and the children will undergo psychological evaluation and counselling in addition to programmes aimed at education, vocational training and skills development in order to enable them to successfully integrate into society as useful citizens in the future.

The Government appreciates the commitment shown by the TMVP, now that conditions of normality have been restored in the East to ensure the release of children and their rehabilitation and takes it as a clear indication that the organisation has taken this measure in consequence of its entry into the democratic mainstream. The Government has earnestly requested all armed groups to release any children they may have in their custody with a view to the rehabilitation and re-integration and the securing of a better future in a country devoid of conflict and terrorism.

The release of the children was facilitated by the Batticaloa Police in cooperation with the Secretariat for Coordinating

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