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FEATURE: Tigers violate UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

(by P.R.I.U  15.12.2000)

The LTTE exploded a claymore mine at an Ordinary Level examination centre yesterday at Kalai Maha Vidyalaya in Eravur. Five people were killed and seven others suffered serious injuries. This adds to the list of ruthless Tiger atrocities and is yet another gross violation of the rights of school children who have the right to an uninterrupted and peaceful education. 

The explosion at the examination centre clearly indicates that the LTTE are disrupting education in the north east. While the Government permits even the LTTE detainees to continue their education in a peaceful environment, the terrorists have been constantly harassing children by not only attacking schools but also conscripting students as combatants. 

On November 23, this year, around 8 am terrorists from Sampoor, Trincomalee, fired two mortar rounds towards the Mutur Jetty, which is used by the civilians to cross over to Trincomalee Town. One shell fell near Al Manar Muslim School in Mutur killing two school children while the other fell near the Mutur Post Office.

The two children killed in the shell attack were M P Sajah, 11 years and Mahil Nizar, 9 years. They were both students attending Al Manar Muslim School. Ten other civilians were injured in the attack. K Sharmila, 7 years old and a married woman, Mrs. Rizwaniya were admitted to the Mutur Hospital. Eight others were removed by the Navy to the Tricomalee Hospital of whom two were in critical condition. The LTTE is renowned for their ruthless attacks on civilians and especially in instances such as these where innocent children’s right to live in peaceful surroundings is denied.

On March 5 1998 a Tiger on a suicide mission exploded a massive bomb hidden in a mini bus at a busy intersection in Colombo on Thursday, killing 34 civilians. Over 300 were wounded. The bomb was exploded outside a school and at least two vans carrying schoolchildren were caught up in the explosion, and schoolbags stained with blood were seen scattered in the blast area. Seven school children were among the dead.

On September 18, 1999 the LTTE struck at three villages of Punchi Seegiriya, Kalpengala and Bedirekka of Ampara. During the attack at least 58 Sinhalese villagers, including 17 women, 2 pregnant mothers and 14 children, were hacked to death with machetes and knives by LTTE terrorists. The victims were dragged from their sleep and butchered. Those who tried to seek refuge in the nearby dense jungles were chased and killed. Some of the villagers who fled their burning homes as gunmen fired at them were chased and hacked to death in rice fields. Others were killed as they slept.

A road explosion killed seven passengers on a bus and injured 20 others Tuesday 28 Nov 2000.
(AFP Photo)


On November 21, Tuesday a 73-year-old civilian, Kanapathi Thambapille of Thambalai, Achchuveli in Jaffna was injured due to an explosion of a suspected LTTE anti personnel mine while clearing the area for cultivation, the Special Media Information Centre said.

At Herath Halmillawa on November 28 this year around 6.15am, a private bus plying towards Anuradahpura from Siripura got caught to a terrorist land mine explosion. Out of 07 civilians killed 03 are women including one school girl. Twenty two civilians were injured due to the explosion.

Information was received of the abduction of 04 civilians including two teenage boys of the age of 14 on December 04, this year by terrorists. The Sittandy detachment is making inquiries with the help of local Police.

LTTE rebels blew up two Sri Lankan military vehicles with land mines, killing nine people and wounding 19, Thu 30 Nov 2000. 
(AFP Photo)

On December 11, this year on information received troops conducted a search and clear operation and recovered three claymore mines and three detonators. Troops believe that these claymores would have been brought down targeting military convoys carrying troops and supplies.

The UN Mine Action Project began in the country in July 1999 and was expanded in early 2000, but had to be suspended in April 2000 due to the conflict. A total of 214,541 square meters of land had been cleared. The project revealed that there were at least several hundred civilian mine casualties in 1999.

“ Any use of mines is to be condemned,” the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Coordinator, Elisabeth Bernstein said adding that Landmine Monitor findings include more than 22 million anti-personnel mines destroyed, including some 10 million since March 1999, globally.


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