The Northern Provincial Council, yesterday, unanimously adopted a proposal to inquire into reports of suspicious deaths of ex-LTTE cadres who had undergone rehabilitation.
107 former LTTE cadres had died after being rehabilitated and released, according to reports. Over 11,000 cadres who surrendered during the last stages of the war, or were captured, were later rehabilitated by the state (after the war ended).
The proposal which was submitted by Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was adopted following a lengthy exchange of views between the ruling party and the opposition.
The chief minister said the proposal was based on various reports and submissions by former LTTE cadres to the Reconciliation Task Force, regarding some suspicious medical treatment given to them while they were undergoing rehabilitation.
"There needs to be a proper investigation into the issues raised. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. The members must must discuss this with those who underwent rehabilitation and report the findings to the Council" he said.
Following the proposal, the Provincial Minister of Health, Dr. Pathmanathan Sathiyalingam told the Council that international medical assistance should be sought to ascertain the veracity of the claims.
"There are reports of injections being administered during the period of rehabilitation -- and these issues must be investigated thoroughly, he said.
Ananthi Sasitharan, who spoke at the meeting, mentioned specific tnstances that she had been informed of by former cadres where they had been injected with unknown substances.
Following the debate, the council resolved to call upon the government to release all medical records pertaining to the ex-cadres, to seek international medical assistance to ascertain the cause of the deaths and to facilitate the inquiries and provide medical assistance to the surviving cadres. (Hafeel Farisz and Sumithy Thangarasa in Jaffna)