LTTE hands over underage youths to parents through UNICEF
[TamilNet, Monday, 27 January 2003, 17:32 GMT]
The UNICEF Monday played a facilitator role accepting three underage youths
from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and handing them back to
their parents. Three boys who came on their own to join Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam were handed over to the UNICEF in Trincomalee by the LTTE
Monday evening, sources said
The Trincomalee town political head of the LTTE Mr.Mathi took the
three boys to the UNICEF office in Trincomalee and requested the UNICEF
representative Ms Gabriella Elroy to facilitate the handing over of the
boys to their parents, sources said.
The three boys are from Kuchchaveli division.
Ms Gabrielle Elroy, UNICEF representative in Trincomalee said she was
pleased to see that the LTTE refuse to accept underage children to their
movement. "This time we prefer to play a facilitator role by taking these
underage boys from LTTE and hand them back to their parents," UNICEF
UNICEF officials told local journalists not to take any photographs of the
event especially the underage boys brought to the UNICEF office, as it
would be against child rights, sources said.
According to researchers on children's rights for more than a decade the LTTE, adhering to international law, sent home any youngsters attempting to enrol in the movement who are underage at the time of enrolment. In recent times the organisation has instituted a procedure of obtaining 'receipts' signed by parents on the safe return of their children to provide evidence of this practice to concerned international organisations.