Sri Lanka is trying to locate the three ex-combatants seen in The Hindu picture of October 1, 2011. The three were pictured at a function at the official residence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the previous day. They were part of a group of ex-LTTE combatants who were handed over to their families that day.

Saroja Devi, mother of one of them, Kerbert Morino Leon Roxy of Alambil, Mullaitivu, said she identified her son from the picture. Her son was not handed over to her, and her family was not invited to the function.

She also identified Savarimutththu Anton Hudson Lorantine of Kanagapuram, Killinochchi, and Murugesu Muruganandan of Murasumottai, Paranthan. She has since been trying to locate her son, and had approached the authorities several times.

Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation Brig. Dharshana Hettiarrachchi said he had met Saroja Devi on Wednesday after The Hindu published the story of the mother searching for her son. “We went through the list of names of all ex-combatants at the Temple Trees function. But the names do not match,” he said.

The boys went missing in 2008. “This is the crucial part. The mother tells us that it is her son. To eliminate any doubt, I have asked my office to locate the boy,” he said. Efforts were on to locate all the three, the Brigadier said and he was confident of getting a reply on the exact location and identities by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the person who first took up the case, Democratic People's Front leader Mano Ganesan, said he had received no reply from Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms. He had decided to give the government a few days to account for the boys. “I am hopeful of a positive reply. Let us wait and see what the government does. I am willing to share with them all information that we have,” he said.

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