Tigers beat or shoot at parents snatch 12 year olds :
Stunning revelation by The Guardian
The London Guardian newspaper charged that the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam, now cornered in five square kilometers in the North East of
Sri Lanka forcibly makes 12-year-old children snatched from their
parents, sometimes beating and shooting at them, to take guns and fight
the Sri Lankan forces.
Children as young as 12 are being forcibly removed from families as
Tamil Tigers make last stand against Sri Lankan forces, the newspaper
The Guardian said children as young as 12 are being given guns and
forced to fight on the frontline alongside desperate Tamil Tiger rebels
cornered inside Sri Lanka no-fire zone, quoting UN sources.
Those forcibly recruited included the 16-year-old daughter of a
member of the UN staff, who had stayed inside the narrow strip of coast
where the LTTE are making their last stand. It added.
Gordon Weiss, the UN spokesman in Sri Lanka, said there had been
credible reports of clashes between LTTE members and families on the
beaches who had tried to prevent their children been taken. Some of
those who resisted had been beaten or shot, he said.
"They are sitting there on the sand and groups of armed LTTE come
along and demand a member of the family joins them. They ask for one or
two children and they are running around grabbing people," Weiss was
quoted having said.
"They have been taking children as young as 12, handing them a gun
and marching them off and putting them to work. They are not being seen
again by their families."
As the fighting intensifies, the LTTE is running short of experienced
fighters and is relying once again on children to boost its numbers, the
Weiss said many children living in areas controlled by the LTTE
before the latest offensive received military training as part of their
He added that the 16-year-old UN family member had now managed to
escape from the fighting. (EOM)