Sri Lanka's former rebels say "I do" while undergoing rehabilitation

20:03, July 15, 2010      

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Though they never met, their forbidden love bloomed. Nirmala Maheshan was taught to die for the cause of Sri Lanka's rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). But Udayarajan Selva, her first love, brought her fresh hopes to live.

Today the couple whom were trained and assigned by the LTTE to blow themselves are lucky to live under one roof in Peace Village in Vavuniya, about 250 km north of the capital Colombo although they are still undergoing rehabilitation programs.

Recalling their D-Day in June, in which over 53 couples of former LTTE rebels got married in a mass wedding ceremony, Maheshan says it was still a dream for her.

"I never thought I would live to marry him. Ordinary cadres were not allowed to marry. The LTTE has deployed us to two different locations to fight. I was a suicide cadre and ordered to blow myself when the Army try to hit the forward defence lines at Puthumathalan where the LTTE held civilians as hostages," Maheshan says.

She smelled the LTTE was fighting a loosing battle as the military is capturing land inch by inch and boxing them into few square kilometers of land in the edge of the Mullattivu district, the LTTE's former military stronghold.

"I wanted to live to find Selva. I abandoned the mission and ran away to hide myself," Maheshan, who fled the LTTE domination mingling with displaced people and surrendered to soldiers, says.

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