Over 11,000 LTTE cadres, including 2,000 women are expected to be given an opportunity to exercise their franchise at the forthcoming presidential election.
The Election Secretariat has directed relevant authorities to take action in this regard.
The Election Secretariat, the Defence Ministry and Justice and Law Reforms Ministry will work out modalities to set up polling booths within detention facilities in the Northern region.
Prisoners are held at 17 centres, including three permanent detention facilities.
Recently, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would give the Vanni population an opportunity to vote at his re-election bid though the LTTE disrupted the last poll in November 2005.
Government sources said that this gesture would not be missed by the Tamil speaking people and the international community.
Sources said that this would expose those who accused President Rajapaksa of running concentration or internment facilities similar to death camps run by the Nazi Germany.
Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Daya Ratnayake yesterday told The Island that they had categorised all detainees, including children and were in the process of launching a rehabilitation programme. Responding to our queries, he said that ex-combatants had responded positively to the government programme supported by the international community.
Ratnayake, who played a key role in the liberation of the Eastern Province, said that the detainees would definitely welcome an opportunity to exercise their franchise. `We not only liberated civilians but thousands of LTTE cadres,` he said.
Contrary to criticism of detention centres, the government had allowed parents of the detainees to visit them. According to him, except for about 400 detainees, others had been able to meet their loved ones regularly. `We are still trying to locate families of others,` he said adding that INGO personnel, too, had been given access to detention facilities. He appreciated the support given by the UNICEF, IOM and the World Food Programme (WFP) to run these centres.
The serving officer said that of the 586 under 18 persons, those who continue studies had been given an opportunity to study and the rest vocational training as part of the rehabilitation process.
Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda has visited detention facilities on several occasions to explore ways and means of improving the conditions.
Major General Ratnayake expressed confidence that the Vanni community would appreciate their liberation and action taken by the government to rehabilitate both civilians and combatants.
He said that the vast majority of them were fighting cadres, both men and women. He said that the rest was cross section, including political wing members and intelligence cadres.
The government yesterday also opened up welfare centres in the North, thereby helping ongoing efforts to restore normalcy in the region.
Earlier, the government had allowed INGOs to resume operations in the Vanni west in support of the resettlement programme.