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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Last Updated Date: January 22, 2003  - 10.45 GMT.

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End child recruitment immediately Scandinavian Monitors