Rs. 525 m in livelihood project loans for ex-LTTE combatants

Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government, under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has allocated Rs. 525 million to provide livelihood project loans to rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres and civilians affected by terrorism over the past three decades. Around 4,700 loan applications have already been received from rehabilitated LTTE cadres and arrangements are in place to provide loans for them to start livelihood development projects as soon as officials complete processing them, Rehabilitation Commissioner General Jagath Wijethilake said. Over 11,600 ex-cadres have already benefited from the loans provided during the first and second stages which covered nearly one-third of the ex-combatants who had undergone rehabilitation and this is around 40% out of the total number of rehabilitated LTTE cadres. The livelihood development project loans will be provided via the nearest branch of Bank of Ceylon (BoC) when the applications are received by Government agents through Grama Niladharis and Divisional Secretaries. These applicants are entitled to receive a maximum of Rs. 250,000 as a loan after submitting a project proposal detailing the project they wish to launch as their livelihood, based on their skills. The reintegrated cadres have received vocational training as part of the rehabilitation process to enable them to be self-employed, he explained. These loans will be given from the end of this year after their applications are processed by Government agents and then sent to the Rehabilitation Authority under the Prisons Reforms and Rehabilitation Ministry. The payments will be released through BoC and applicants can receive their payments from the nearest branch. The Government has spent over Rs. 2.5 billion on the rehabilitation activities of ex-LTTE cadres since the conflict ended in May 2009.