Thamilini undergoes rehabilitation

A top female Tamil Tiger rebel is undergoing rehabilitation at a camp in northern Sri Lanka, a military official said on Tuesday.

The Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Dharshana Hettiarrachchi told Xinhua that Thamilini, the former political leader of the women’s wing of the Tamil Tigers, is being rehabilitated at the Poonthottam Rehabilitation Centre in Vavuniya.

A court in Colombo last month ordered that Thamilini be sent for rehabilitation after the island’s Attorney General recommended that she be rehabilitated instead of being charged.

“It was decided by the court that she undergo rehabilitation for a period of one year so that process is now underway,” Hettiarrachchi said.

He said the rehabilitation program includes counseling, meditation and various other activities which will help a former rebel to forget the past.

The Tamil Tigers were defeated in 2009 by the military after 30 years of war and several rebels who surrendered were sent for rehabilitation and subsequently released into society.

Thamilini was arrested after the war while she was staying in a camp for the thousands of war displaced disguised as a civilian.

She was produced in court but was last month given the option to undergo rehabilitation, becoming one of the most senior rebels to be rehabilitated.

“We have had some other senior cadres undergoing rehabilitation as well and based on the post she is said to have held in the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) she is now among the seniors former rebels to undergo rehabilitation,” Hettiarrachchi said.

He also said that together with Thamilini some 650 former rebels are undergoing rehabilitation at the center in Vavuniya.

The Sri Lankan government recently said that former rebels who have been rehabilitated and released into society will be able to enter politics if they so wish to do so. (Xinhua)