BUREAU OF THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF REHABILITATION
"MINISTRY OF PRISON REFORMS,REHABILITATION, RESETTLEMENT AND HINDU RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS"

LANKA REHABILITATED SUICIDE BOMBERS - Dr. Palitha Kohona

* LTTE carried out over 230 suicide bombings

* Introduced suicide bombing to the world

Sri Lanka undertook a task never undertaken by any country that faced terrorism: rehabilitation of suicide bombers of the LTTE and releasing them to the Sri Lankan community, said Mr. Palitha Kohona, our man in the UN.

LTTE suicide bombers struck over 230 times, killing thousands of civilians. They targeted men, women and children indiscriminately and left thousands dead and maimed. They created a massive wave of terror in the country, said Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona.

He said: “The suicide vest was reportedly invented by the LTTE. The technology was later copied by terrorist groups elsewhere. It continues to cause widespread death and destruction in the Middle East. This was a cleverly designed close-fitting outfit which is stacked with steel ball bearings against the layer of plastic explosives, usually C4,” Dr. Kohona said. He said: “Fortunately this sad period of Sri Lanka’s history has come to an end.

And most LTTE combatants including trained suicide bombers have now been rehabilitated and released to the community as part of the Government’s programme to restore the lives of the people who would otherwise have been sacrificed as human cannon fodder”, quoting Dr. Kohona Asian Tribune reported. Dr. Kohona recalled of the bombing of the Central Bank in Colombo which killed over 1400 civilians and the bombing of the Pettah bus-stand that also killed hundreds of civilians”.

Ambassador Kohona details the nature of the LTTE and it’s suicide vest: “It was detonated either manually or remotely. Females were recruited and deployed against targets killing not only the main target but also dozens of others standing around. The red hot pellets scattered around killed indiscriminately”.

“Much of the information in the custody of security authorities in Sri Lanka and neighboring countries comes from the interrogation of captured suicide bombers in Sri Lanka, mainly women. Jan Goodwin, an American journalist writing in Marie Claire, traced the history of female suicide bombers in Sri Lanka.

They were mostly recruited from families who were forced to give up their children for the cause and later indoctrinated to a level that they would volunteer to go on suicide missions. The volunteers were called Black Tigers. These women were conditioned to believe that their highest purpose was to sacrifice their lives for the cause. Everything else was secondary.

A suicide bomber knew exactly when their mission had to be performed and they knew that there was no return. A minder always observed a suicide bomber as she stalked her victim. They were also trained to chew on a lethal cyanide capsule to avoid capture. The bomber’s family was rewarded with land, money and houses. Given the depressed social background of most volunteers, this was considered to be an adequate reward” says Dr. Palitha Kohona.