Authorities blind to sexual abuse of minors in SLA controlled Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 March 2008, 16:34 GMT]
Government officials meant to look after the interests of minors turn a blind eye to sexual abuse of young girls which has risen at an alarming rate in Jaffna peninsula in recently, civil society groups in Jaffna peninsula said. Climate of war, continuing economic restrictions, poverty, lack of employment, restriction of free movement, and calculated plans of cultural decadence witnessed especially after the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) closure of the A9 land route to Jaffna peninsula are in the background of sexual abuse of minor-aged, the sources said. A 13-year-old girl in Valikaamam gave birth to a child recently and Court has directed the newborn to be placed in the care of Child Care Centre.

Two girl students under 15 years of age lost their lives when they attempted abortion in the latter part of February 2008.

One student is from a leading school in Pa'ndaththarippu, and Mallaakam Court has directed the police to arrest and produce the person responsible for sexually abusing the girl.

Although SLA troops are accused of sexual abuse of the said girl, the allegations remain unproven, the sources said.

The second girl student is from Kachchaai in Thenmaraadchi. She had travelled to Vaddukkoaddai to have the abortion carried out, residents in Vaddukkoaddai said.

A male relative of the girl from Kachchaai was arrested following the episode and is being detained in remand prison.

Officials responsible to attend to the interests of minors are attached to the offices of Government Agent, Assistant Government Agents, Regional and Divisional Secretaries in Jaffna peninsula but they have shown no interest in these cases, civil society groups said.

The District Children Security Committees in Jaffna Secretariat which functioned earlier in the peninsula were later renamed District Children Development Committees but officials remain inactive.


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