Sri Lanka holds mass wedding for ex-rebels
COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan authorities on Sunday conducted the marriages of over 100 former rebels at a mass ceremony attended by Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi.
A total of 53 couples were issued marriage certificates in the northern district of Vavuniya, where they are being held in military custody following the defeat of the Tamil Tiger separatist movement in May last year.
Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe, said most of the ex-combatants had been living together without formalising their partnerships.
“Some have children. It’s only fair we legalise their marriages as part of their rehabilitation process,” Ranasinghe said.
Formal marriage gives clear inheritance rights and makes it easier to seek social welfare assistance from the state.
The former militants are being rehabilitated at a military-run camp in Vavuniya, 255 kilometres (160 miles) north of Colombo, after they surrendered to the army last year.
Some 10,000 combatants gave themselves up when government troops wiped out the Tigers’ top leadership and ended the 37-year conflict which had claimed up to 100,000 lives, according to United Nations estimates.
Oberoi’s presence added glamour to Sunday’s celebration and the actor later spoke to some of the newly married couples.
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wow good appi subapathanawa jayasiri mangalam
Congratulations to the couples who got married. May they enjoy long wedded bliss in a free, one, united country, Sri Lanka, without being made a catspaw of Tamil extremist politicians seeking eelam for their selfish gain. Thanks to Mr Oberoi for gracing the occasion with his presence.
Let the Government of Sri Lanka of Mahinda Rajapksa send a strong message to the Tamil diaspora that this is the way ahead and to be united with the MR Chintanaya in realising the Tamil aspirations in ONE LANKA. Let it be also a model for other seperatists in Inda and a leason to Western imperialists who play dirty with the lives of innocent Tamils for their own political ends.
parlimenthuwe surapathelai,paule aiyala mallelai dan magul kaawa hodatooma athe..apeta 3wela kannath beha dan
mewane dewal ha rate podu janayage duunuwa gana dan ekman salasmak gena kreyaawata dakwai keyala mama sethanawa,
aanduwen kerunu seemetha hoda wadak..mage unusum suba pathum “jasriri mangalam”