US military sales to Sri Lanka up from $1.4m to $60.8m
[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 May 2007, 18:08 GMT]
The Center for Defense Information (CDI), an independent think-tank based in Washington D.C which provides expert analysis on various components of U.S. national security, international security and defense policy, said in a report that Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Sri Lanka from US increased 40 fold, from $1.4m in 2006 to $60.8m in 2007.
The report points out that Sri Lanka, where there are "new reports of children serving in government armed forces or government-linked paramilitary groups," is also a beneficiary of increase in sales
Excerpts from the report follow:
In 13 of the 25 countries, children under age 18 have been forcibly recruited into both government and non-state armed groups, have taken a direct part in hostilities as members of armed groups, or have been forced into support roles for armed
groups. Since 2001, the U.S. government has supplied 11 of these 13 countries with military assistance.
In nine of these 13 countries, children were recruited or used as soldiers by government security forces or governmentsponsored
armed groups.3 Unlike last year, the State Department reported no evidence that children were recruited into
government armed forces in Paraguay or Rwanda, and included new reports of children serving in government armed forces
or government-linked paramilitary groups in Sri Lanka.
Of the nine countries in which children were recruited or used as soldiers by government security forces or governmentsponsored
armed groups, the U.S. government has supplied eight with military assistance since 2001.