UNICEF welcomes sharp decline in under-age youths joining LTTE
[TamilNet, Monday, 13 February 2006, 00:46 GMT]
UNICEF representatives expressed satisfaction in the sharp decline of the number of under-age youths joining the ranks of the Liberation Tigers after the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, during a meeting held with the LTTE's Child Protection Unit at the LTTE Peace Secretariat building Sunday, LTTE officials said.
Both delegations acknowledged and appreciated the commitment shown by the other party in the protecting the rights of children, sources said.
LTTE delegation pointed to the some contradictions in UN instruments that deal with age limits of youths allowed to join State and armed-groups for military training and combat, and raised the issue of resources for LTTE's administrative sector.
LTTE Peace Secretarial officials have recently created a three-member Child Protection Unity (CPU) to serve as the primary liason and to co-ordinate activities with UNICEF.
The meeting was attended by Mr Sudar (Child Rights Lawyer from Tamileealam Justice Department), Mr Ilanthirayan (CPU) and Ms Geeth (CPU and Gender Committee), Mr Puleedevan (Secretary General of LTTE Peace Secretariat), and Mr Thiagaraja (UN and INGO Coordinator).
Ms Penny Brune (Head of Kilinochchi Zonal Office), Mr William Kollie (Child Protection Officer, Colombo), and Ms Stina Carrlson (Child Protection Officer, Kilinochchi) represented the UNICEF in the meeting.