Michael Roberts, with Lester Carron
Following my preliminary and non-comprehensive essay of the government’s rehabilitation programme for former Tigers held in detention centres under military supervision I sought more information from one of the companies involved, namely, the David Pieris Motor Company, through a friend. Though there was a delay, Lester Carron, The Director, Service Dept, DPMC, responded. I sent him a series of questions which he has now answered. The Q and A are presented as they are because the import is clear. Let me add that this cooperation is in contrast to that of the Bureau of the Commissioner General for Rehabilitation who did not send me any information in response to my request [though I extracted data from their site]. Let me also add that a chance meeting with Richard Danziger, Head of the International Organization for Migration, at an official function in Colombo enabled me to send him my essay on “Turning Tiger Personnel into Lankan Citizens?” [note question mark at end] for his comments. His answer, dated Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM, was as brief as immediate: “Dear Michael, I think its a fair article. Best regards, RICHARD.” These types of response are good for the heart and contrast with the type of pedantic negativity and mis-reading generated by blokes like “Valkyrie.”
1. Is it at all possible for you to make the documentaries you made of the training of these batches available to me? Yes we can, but at the moment the commentary is in Sinhala, also where there is a Tamil dialogue it is dubbed in Sinhala.
2. How were the ex-combatants selected for the training? We requested the Sri Lanka Air Force (who were in charge of the centre) to interview and short list candidates, thereafter on two occasions our Assistant Manager Technical Training, our Tamil training Instructor and myself personally visited the centre and selected the candidates after interview. (Mr David Pieris also was present on the first occasion). The minimum criteria required was the ability to identify basic hand tools, some special tools and identification of certain motor cycle and 3Wheeler engine components that we carried with us from Colombo. Who did the selection? Were you at all influenced by the recommendations of the military? No. Continue reading