Sri Lankan army to recruit 100 Tamil girls
The Sri Lankan army is to recruit 100 minority Tamil girls over the weekend, the first time such a large number of Tamils are being recruited, a military spokesman said on Thursday.
Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya told Xinhua that the young girls will be enlisted in the Volunteer Force of the Sri Lanka Army and be assigned to serve under a battalion of the Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps.
"This is not the first time Tamils are being recruited into the army. The criteria is that they must be Sri Lankans. The significance here is that a large number of Tamils are being recruited at the same time," he said.
The Tamil girls are from the northern part of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu and the ceremony to mark the recruitment will be held in Bharathipuram, Killinochchi, a town which was once under the control of the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Once being recruited, the Tamil girls will undergo initial military training and will be assigned for duties in Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, the army said.
Wanigasooriya said that on a request from the parents of the Tamil girls, the ceremony to mark the recruitment of the girls to the army has been organized as per Hindu customs and traditions.
The military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 after 30 years of war and regained control of a large area of the north which was administered by the rebels.
The Tamil Tigers fought for a separate Tamil state in a bitter conflict which saw thousands of combatants and civilians being killed.