LTTE releases 21 underage youths to parents
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 02:16 GMT]
NorthEast Secretariat On Human Rights (NESOHR) released twenty-one youths of ages between 15-17 years to their parents 3 months after joining the Liberation Tigers, Tuesday at their offices located at Karadippoku junction 2km north of Kilinochchi town along A9 highway, officials of NESOHR said. Mr Thiagarajah, LTTE liason officer for NGOs, Rev Fr Kanagaratnam, president, and Ms Malathy Naguleswaran of NESOHR were present during the handover of youths which took place throughout the day.
Three of the youths were handed over to the International Labor Organization (ILO) funded Vocational Training Centre staff with the concurrence of their parents for skills training, NESOHR staff said.
All eleven girls released were attending high school when they joined the movement. Of the ten boys, only eight were attending school. One was working as a manual laborer at a quarry.
NESOHR officials said that youths were from Jaffna, Mannar and Vanni districts and were investigated by the LTTE after complaints were filed by the parents.
Mr Thiagarajah said the LTTE is actively reviewing other complaints to identify further underage youths to release.
NESOHR officials said that they are working on strengthening their staff in the east following the killing of Mr Chandra Nehru by paramilitaries.