TWO of the Rehabilitation Centres in Vavuniya for former LTTE combatants celebrated Independence Day in their own fashion on February 4. At Poorthottam, where there are a couple of hundred former child soldiers, there was a flag hoisting ceremony, which included the release of a dove, and speeches in both Tamil and Sinhala.
This was followed by a well rehearsed drill display.
The highlight was a display with national flags, including the building up of pyramids by the girls and boys respectively to display the standards aloft.
The announcements were by a former broadcaster for the Voice of the Tigers, who had been released, but who had returned to work with the rehabilitation authorities and his former friends.
This was followed by tea, with sweetmeats made by the youngsters, who were also being trained in cooking, and also basic food processing. In Pompaimadhu, one of the Centres for girls, the formal ceremonies were followed by volleyball matches, in which a female army contingent also participated. There was also a team of Beauty Culturists, who had done some training previously, who were powdering and plastering and arranging hair.
Following lunch, the girls put on a concert, with singing and dancing. This was interspersed with prize awards, for the girls as well as for the army ladies who looked after them.
(Courtesy: Daily News)