[lbo-talk] Free child soldiers, Tigers told

uvj at vsnl.com uvj at vsnl.com
Fri May 18 13:19:50 PDT 2007

The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Free child soldiers, Tigers told http://www.hindu.com/2007/05/13/stories/2007051303771200.htm

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The United Nations Security Council has directed the Tamil Tigers and the Karuna group to end use of child soldiers and warned of "further steps" against the LTTE including possible sanctions if the group does not abide by its commitments on recruitment of child soldiers.

The chairman of the U.N. Security Council's working group on children and armed conflict, has issued two statements regarding the recruitment and use of child soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Karuna group in Sri Lanka.

The statements condemn the continued abduction, recruitment and use of child soldiers, and urge both armed groups to immediately release all children from their forces. The statement directed to the LTTE further states that if the organisation does not abide by its commitments to end the use of child soldiers, "further steps may be taken."

Such steps may involve sanctions against the LTTE, which has been named in several reports to the Security Council for recruiting and using child soldiers in violation of international law.

Move welcomed

"Human Rights Watch welcomes the U.N. Security Council's strong condemnation of the recruitment and use of child soldiers by both the Tamil Tigers and the Karuna group," said Jo Becker, child rights' advocate for Human Rights Watch, in a separate statement.

"Both groups have now been put on notice to immediately implement the Security Council's call to stop all child recruitment, and release the children in their forces. The Security Council will want to see results." The statements were issued by Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière, the French permanent representative to the United Nations, on behalf of the working group, based on a December report from the U.N. Secretary-General regarding grave abuses against children in Sri Lanka's armed conflict.

AFP reports:

Sri Lanka needs time to neutralise the air strike capability of Tiger rebels, a state-run daily said on Saturday as the international airport shut down at night fearing guerrilla air raids.

The Daily News said government forces were in a superior position in dealing with the Tigers on ground and at sea, but the flying Tigers had plunged the country into confusion.

The report came as the island's only international airport, Bandaranaike International, began shutting for six hours at night following a spate of air raids by the militants.

Copyright © 2007, The Hindu.

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