|Thursday, 23 January 2003|
SLMM urges LTTE : Stop recruiting child soldiers
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has called on the LTTE to put an end forthwith to its practice of recruiting child soldiers. The SLMM observes that it was still receiving complaints about child recruitment by the LTTE although a clear downward trend is being noted in the number of ceasefire violations in the final months of 2002.
The SLMM puts the total number of ceasefire violations at 556 as at December 2002 since the guns fell silent. Of this the LTTE was responsible for 502 violations while the Government was guilty of 54. It notes that the most common violations of the LTTE during 2002 were the 313 cases of child recruitment. There were also 89 cases of abductions and 41 cases of harassments. The most common violations against Government were 20 cases of harassment, 13 cases of extortion and seven instances of restriction of movement.
The SLMM however observes that decreasing trend in the violations of the ceasefire agreement between the Government and the LTTE has been the overall development in the ceasefire during the final months. It says that violations of the LTTE went down from more than 50 cases in September to under 40 in November with December recording a mere 19.
It also notes that the total number of valid complaints received by Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in December was 142. 118 complaints were made against the LTTE and 24 against the Government forces. In December, nineteen cases were already ruled as violations of the LTTE and one case as a violation of the Government forces.
The most common ruled violations of LTTE in December were ten cases of abduction of adults, six cases of child recruitment and two cases of harassment.
The one ruled violation of the Government forces in December was a case of harassment.
Most of the complaints received by SLMM in December were in Batticaloa district which received 61 complaints, all against LTTE. In December 46 complaints were received in Jaffna, thereof 24 against LTTE and 22 against the Government side. Other districts recorded much lower number of complaints, 16 were received in Vavuniya, 12 in Mannar, 7 in Ampara and in Trincomalee only 1 complaint was received by SLMM.
Produced by Lake House