8th February, 2004 Volume 10, Issue 30
frowns on LTTE's child recruitment
Human Rights Commission (HRC) is convinced that the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been engaged in abducting children after the
signing of the ceasefire agreement with the government.
Chairperson, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy said a fact-finding mission sent to
the east recently by the HRC has found out that child abduction is rife in
the region. The team undertook this mission following complaints filed
with the commission with regard to child abductions and child soldiers.
team held extensive discussion with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM)
and parents of children who had been abducted by the LTTE.
are convinced that child recruitment and child abductions continue to take
place in the east after the ceasefire agreement. This is one of the most
disturbing elements since the signing of the ceasefire," Dr.
Coomaraswamy told The Sunday Leader.
also further endorsed the report of UNICEF which states a large number of
children have been recruited by the LTTE. "We are also convinced that
this takes place in cycles perhaps linked to the training programmes
conducted by the LTTE," she said.
said mothers of children who have been abducted have come to the
commission offices and approached individual commissioners and described
child abductions, adding, "therefore we are convinced that in many of
these cases the abductions are not voluntary."
HRC according to her is to publish a report on the findings of the fact
finding mission shortly. Dr. Coomaraswamy says after the publication of
the report, the HRC would attempt to approach the LTTE to have a dialogue
based on the findings.
regard to the Eastern Province, she said the commission is convinced that
there must be a human rights agreement between the parties to the conflict
and that effective monitoring must be done with substantial international
advice and assistance.
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