End child recruitment
immediately – Scandinavian Monitors [January 22, 2003 - 10.45 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission (SLMM) would like to see an immediate end to the practice of child
recruitment, SLMM spokesman Teitur Torkelsson said today. Noting the
reduction in the number of complaints and violations of the Ceasefire
Agreement as positive, Torkelsson said the SLMM still receives complaints of
LTTE child recruitment, though the numbers have decreased.
The SLMM receives
complaints from various sources and after inquiring into the matter, rules
the cases as violations or non-violations. The Mission began work in Sri
Lanka after the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
signed a Ceasefire Agreement last February.
The total number of ruled
violations from the beginning of the Ceasefire agreement until December 31,
2002 is 556. The most common violations of the LTTE during the year 2002
were 313 cases of child recruitment, 89 cases of abductions of adults and 41
cases of harassment.
The total number of valid
complaints received by the SLMM in December was 142. The most common ruled
violations of the LTTE in December were 10 cases of abduction of adults, six
cases of child recruitment and two cases of harassment.
Most of the complaints
received by the SLMM in December were from the Batticaloa district with 61
complaints, all against the LTTE.
The SLMM notes a clear
downward trend in the number of ruled ceasefire violations in the last
months of 2002. The same downward trend can also be seen in the number of
received complaints of LTTE child recruitment, where complaints went down
from more that 60 in September to 38 in November and down to 28 in December.
The Monitors have
recorded 1403 complaints against the LTTE while 385 have been recorded
against the Government of Sri Lanka. Of these 504 have been ruled as
violations by the LTTE while 54 have been ruled as violations by the
Government. 786 complaints are yet being investigated by the Monitors while
the balance have been ruled as non-violations.
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Date: January 22, 2003 - 10.45