500 former LTTE cadres who have all undergone rehabilitation have begun a weeklong tour of the South. Titled “From Palmyrah Groves to Coconut Groves”, the programme is intended to make them aware of living in a united country. It is a part of the final phase of the rehabilitation programme at the Vavuniya rehabilitation camp.
The group, left Vavuniya at around 3.20 a.m. after multi-religious observances to embark on the Friendship Journey to the South in the Rajarata Regina train. A notable feature is that a majority of them are traveling in a train and visiting the South for the first time in their life.
The tour is jointly organized by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera and Parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwar were present at the Colombo Fort Railway Station to greet them. Thereafter, they left for Kalutara. A special musical show has been organized for them at the Sanath Jayasuriya Grounds in Matara. After visiting Hindu religious places, tea factories, attending cultural events, and taking sea baths, they are also scheduled to participate in friendly games of cricket and football.