A Newspaper Published by World Institute for Asian Studies. Powered by WIAS, Vol. 7 No. 001

LTTE has recruited 4700 children during CFA- Media Minister

By Ravi Ladduwahetty- Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Sri Lankan Media Minister Anura Yapa this morning charged that the LTTE has forcibly abducted and recruited 4700 children between 2001 and 2004 and a majority of them had been during the period of the Cease Fire Agreement which it signed with the United National Front Government of Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet news conference at the Government Information Department, the Government Spokesman and Media Minister also said that the LTTE had forcibly recruited 4700 children between 2001 and 2004 which has been published in a report published under the theme "Children in Armed Conflict" which was published by the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan

He said: "UNICEF has also made a special appeal to the then United National Front Government to uplift the lives of 50,000 children who have been affected by the war which has been made at the fifth round of peace talks between the UNF Government and the LTTE in Berlin

Despite this appeal and UNICEF allocating a total of US$ 14.2 million for the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and of that a US$ 8 million released by the UNICEF to the TRO in 2003, the LTTE has not released any children . But it has instead, recruited more and more children. This is also listed in Kofi Annan’s report," Minister Yapa said.

According to the UNICEF report, there have been 709 children who have been abducted by the LTTE in 2003 alone and there are 1300 chidren which the LTTE has promised the UNICEF that it will free. However, it has freed only 300 children and that was in 2004.

The LTTE has violated the Cease Fire Agreement on 90 occasions which have been directly violated by the LTTE according to the truce monitors.

There have been 1955 complaints of instances the LTTE has violated the CFA in 2003, the Minister said

He charged that the LTTE was fortified and nourished during the UNP regime after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNP on 2002.

He alleged that the country was brought into a state of anarchy during which the LTTE strengthened itself and how it recruited more chilled soldiers and created mayhem while the UNP made no effort to militarily defeat the LTTE

He also outlined in explicit detail the manner in which the LTTE fortified itself to commit atrocities following the Cease Fire Agreement which it signed with the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government on 22.2. 2002.

According to the Minister -

* The Millennium City was compromised the LRRPs Military Intelligence Officers (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols) who were nabbed at the Cinnamon Gardens Police Station were shown to the local and international media and thereby exposing them and they were jailed in Kandy with the other prisoners.

* The killing of senior military intelligence officers by the LTTE took place after this conspiracy. This resulted in the -

Abduction and killing of Military Intellince Officer D. Vidyarthan in Batticaloa,

The killing of Kandiah Yogarasa Mohan alias PLOTE Mohan in Bambalapitiya.

The Head of the Dehiwela Police Intelligence Officer Nimal Thaabrew being killed inside the Dehiwela Police station itself by LTTEr Kiruharan.

There has been the killing of an abundant of Military Intelligence Officers and others numbering over 50 ad over 1000 civilians since the CFA was signed, the Minister pointed out.

-Asian Tribune -