BUREAU OF THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF REHABILITATION
"MINISTRY OF PRISON REFORMS,REHABILITATION, RESETTLEMENT AND HINDU RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS"

Rehabilitation of Adult Ex-Combatants

The government launched a five-year strategic plan (2008 – 2012) to disarm, demobilize, and rehabilitate misguided youth and successfully integrate. The Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (BCGR) having mission;

"Unwavering commitment to motivate misguided armed personnel in Sri Lanka to surrender to the Government of Sri Lanka and transform them as useful personnel in society through the implementation of comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration programmes that promote their best interest."

The continuous support of the Ministry of Defence and the Sri Lanka Army, the BCGR in pursuit of its goals established new centers and expanded the existing Rehabilitation Centers and increased the programmes for rehabilitees.

The Rehabilitation had to undertake a mixed gender population nearly 12,000. 594 were children; Adults were 11,406 among them 9374 Males and 2032 Females (95.05%).

The Rehabilitation follows a policy based on

"Rehabilitate, Prosecute or Release"

They were come under the following categories.

University students, Children, Sick and disabled cadres, Court-ordered releases, Pregnant mothers, Mothers with infants Persons had minor involvements.

The term 'BENEFICIARY' was introduced to identify the ex – LTTE Adult cadres who were selected for rehabilitation with a view to give them a better recognition in the society.

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The six-pillar rehabilitation process was designed on which to gear them into their families and communities as individuals with positive attitudes, employable skills and leadership aptitude.

Activities under the Rehabilitation Program

Spiritual, Religious, and Cultural Rehabilitation

Focused to returning on to cultural and family norms.

i. Meditation

ii. Spiritual Development

iii. Home leave to participate at religious and cultural activities at home

iv. Deepavali & Thai Pongal Celebrations

v. Spiritual tours

vi. Development of cultural teams

Educational Rehabilitation

Focused to develop the standard of educational level for the future, expand thinking and explore alternatives, critical thinking to counter any narrow ideology.

i. Re-University admission for those who left out

ii. Education scholarships to the higher studies

iii. Basic ICT knowledge

iv. Computer aided drafting and 3D Drafting

v. Language training (Sinhala & English)

vi. Typing shorthand

vii. Pre-reintegration mentorship program

Vocational Rehabilitation

Opportunities made available for male and female beneficiaries are as follows:

MaleFemale
PlumbingBridal Dressing, Hair Dressing & Make up
Aluminum workDiploma in Nursery Management
Electrical WiringJuki Machine Operator Training Programme at Link Apparel (Pvt) Ltd
Leather WorksJuki Machine Operator Training Programme at Tri Star Apparel (Pvt) Ltd
Tailoring ProgrammeTailoring Programme
Carpentry, Masonry, Welding, DrivingWool Course
Heavy Machinery Training (Bulldozer) – SL Army Cookery Course
Three Wheel/Two Wheel repairing -
Coconut CultivationCoconut Cultivation
Mushroom CultivationMushroom Cultivation
Use of Chemical FertilizersUse of Chemical Fertilizers
Out-boat Motor Engine Course -
Sugar – Cane Cultivation-
Psychosocial CounselingPsychosocial Counseling
Handy Crafts using Palmyrah LeavesHandy Crafts using Palmyrah Leaves
Paper Work TrainingPaper Work Training
Vehicle Tinker Course-
Leather Work Training-
Rich-Work Training-
Food Product-

Family unification through "Peace Village" concept

Most needy families were reunited at special Rehabilitation Centres termed as "Peace Villages", with the purpose of inculcating family spirit, ties and values. Married ex- combatants re-joined their Spouses, Children and their parents to resume their family life at the Peace Villages enjoying free movement. Those undergoing rehabilitation are thus able to continue their programme without disruption to their family life.

Family Reunification Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres

A dedicated Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres has been established at Kaithady (Jaffna) to cater to the reunification of married male and female ex-combatants who were undergoing rehabilitation separately at different rehabilitation centres.

IT related Vocational training programmes for Ex-combatants

Under the initiative of the BCGR, an IT related training programme known as "Accelerated Skill Acquisition Programme" (ASAP) - was conducted for ex-combatants (in groups). In addition IT related vocational training programmes for ex-combatants were designed to impart computer based skills development in the fields of Agribusiness, Garment industry and Hotel industry.

Computer Lab for IT related Vocational Training

A fully fledged Mini Computer Lab with 30 computers was established at Pompaimadu University Hostel premises. It has the capacity to train approx. 100 persons at any given time. Subsequently the computer lab was handed over to Vavuniya University.

"Cricket for Change" – Sports as a medium for Reconciliation

The BCGR, Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation, Sri Lanka Cricket Board, International Cricket Council and the Cricket for Change (U.K based charity organization) joined together to promote the spirit of Cricket for the ex child combatants, where sports is used as the vehicle for reconciliation.

Psychological Development and Counseling

The BCGR in partnership with the Ministryof Healthcare and Nutrition, Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare and NGO's committed in subjected field organized to conduct a comprehensive Counseling Programme to address issues pertaining to correcting the distorted mind sets of ex-Combatants to effect attitudinal change.

Conduct of Aesthetic Workshops (Drama and Music)

These therapeutic programmes were found to be very effective to open up their otherwise closed bitter past and is proved to be useful in bringing much relief to the ex-Combatants to move forward their lives. Workshops were conducted at Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres with the assistance of specialists in the fields of Aesthetics, Drama and Music.

Montessori Diploma Training Course

120 female rehabilitees were given a 45 days training programme at two Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres in July 2011.

Mass Marriage Ceremony

A mass marriage ceremony was held on 13 June 2010 where 53 couples (ex - combatants) were formally given in marriage with the consent of their parents/families. Their marriages were conducted as per the religious customs, traditions and rituals by the respective religious dignitaries. All parents and well-wishers attended the Ceremony.

Psychosocial Counselor Training for Center Administrators

Rehabilitation Center Administrators were trained on the conduct of counseling by Psychologists and Psychiatrists. The training was conducted in a 3 day work shop followed up with periodical refresher training.

Pre Reinsertion and Reintegration Mentorship Program

Pre-reintegration mentorship programs are conduct for all rehabilitees just before they are reintegrated to the society. Special mentorship program was conducted by counselors from Ministry of Social Services. All beneficiaries were mentored for three days on a special programme by the trained counselors prior to their reintegration.

Health and Psychosocial Activities

PHC's (Primary Healthcare Centres) established at each Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres. Health Screening, health education and hygiene promotion programmes are conducted for all the rehabilitees (health education booklet provided) regularly at every Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres.

Foundation Program in Psychosocial Counseling for the Beneficiaries

56 Rehabilitees were given the foundation training on Psychosocial Counseling, which is a 6 weeks training programme conducted by professionals in Psychosocial Counseling. These beneficiaries are employed in Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centers (PARCs) to counsel their peers. All these beneficiaries will be able to follow Diploma in Counseling Programme in the future.

Awareness Raising Program for Religious Leaders and Community Leaders on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Ex-combatants into the Community

The programme was organized mainly to educate the Government officials / Religious and Community Leaders on the rehabilitation and reintegration process and to clear doubts and uncertainties of the community in accepting beneficiaries back to the community.

Community sensitization and Confidence building Programme

• Thalruppawen Polruppawata

The Prisons Inmates Day was celebrated with the beneficiaries at the Sanath Jayasuriya Stadium in Matara from 12 to14 September 2011. Celebrations included exhibitions and cultural programmes in all three days. The beneficiaries had the opportunity to play the final of the football tournament with the teams of inmates in prisons.

• Reintegration programme At President's House

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, a reintegration ceremony was held at the Temple Trees on 30th September 2011 with the presence of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. At this ceremony, nearly 1800, former LTTE combatants who had successfully completed the rehabilitation programme were reunited with their parents.

• Musical Band - "Friends of Peace"

The "Friends of Peace" made its maiden public appearance before a large audience at the Campbell Park in Colombo on 24th October 2011 following a football match organized by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms between the Prison-inmates Team and the Rehabilitation Centre Inmates Team.

• Mega Sports Carnival at Polonnaruwa

A Mega Sports Carnival was held at the Polonnaruwa National Sport Complex on 5th November 2011 for ex-combatants undergoing the rehabilitation at Welikanda & Kandakadu Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centers. The sports event provided an excellent opportunity for the youth to develop team spirit and display their talents. The different ethnic communities were also able to interact and socialize informally at this occasion.

• Visit to Parliament by Beneficiaries

104 Ex LTTE female cadres visited Parliament on 09th December, 2011, before being reintegrated into society after one year rehabilitation program. They visited Parliament when the committee stage debate of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms.

• Deyata Kirula", National Development Exhibition

HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation stall at Deyata Kirula", National Development Exhibition at Hardy Complex, Ampara.

Numbers Reintegrated as at 07.10.2013.

Numbers Reintegrated as at 07.10.2013.

They are housed at three Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres

Vocational Training Programmes in Progress