Sri Lanka private sector urged to hire former combatants

May 23, 2011 (LBO) – An international terrorism expert has suggested Sri Lanka’s private sector should employ former Tamil Tiger separatist fighters who have been rehabilitated to help ensure they don’t return to violence. Sri Lanka’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009 resulting in accelerated economic growth and a tourism boom.

Gunaratna said many of the former fighters had gone through a government rehabilitation programme where they learned new skills ranging from farming to information technology.

“The Sri Lankan police have developed a system where they work with private companies to help recruit (former Tamil Tigers) and to retrain them.

“A major role for the private sector would be to work with the police and take someone who has been rehabilitated,” Gunaratna said.

Rohan Gunaratna of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University said private sector employment opportunities would provide viable alternative futures for former Tamil Tiger fighters who surrendered or were captured with the end of the island’s ethnic war.

“This is something you need to consider seriously,” he told a forum on global terrorism organised by Shippers’ Academy – Colombo at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

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