Sri Lanka ex-combatant rehabilitation gets UK backing

Sept 04, 2009 (LBO) – The United Kingdom is giving 17 million rupees to support the rehabilitation of ex-combatants in Sri Lanka conflict by the island’s ministry of justic, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) said. Justice minister Milinda Moragoda has welcomed the support given for the rehabilitation efforts led by his ministry and Sri Lanka’s commissioner general of rehabilitation, the IOM said.

“The UK fully supports efforts to ensure sustainable rehabilitation of former combatants,” the statement quoted British high commission Peter Hayes as saying.

“This will be critical to reconciliation efforts following the end of the war and will underpin a transition to sustainable peace.”

A 30-year separatist conflict with Tamil Tiger separatists ended in May. The ministry of justice is holding several thousand ex-combatants mostly those who surrendered to the authorities.

The Minister of Justice welcomed the support provided by the British High Commission to the Government of Sri Lanka.

The IOM says it has been working with Sri Lanka authorities to develop a “community oriented demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration programme.”

“The programme focuses on strengthening capacity, s