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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

Ambassador Kariyawasam lambastes LTTE war crimes against....

[b]Ambassador Kariyawasam lambastes LTTE war crimes against children and denies a legal status to the LTTE[/b]

From our UN Correspondent

[b] United Nations, 18 October, ( [/b]Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, told the UN that the LTTE has committed "four grave violations" against the children: (i) attacks against schools and civilian centres; (ii) abduction of children; (iii) denial of humanitarian access for children; and (iv) use of children in armed conflict.

Branding them as "war crimes" he said that it is "necessary to keep a sustained focus on all these inter-connected, continuing grave violations against children with a view to preventing their recurrence."

Ambassador Kariyawasam also commended the ground work of Ms. Karin Sham Poo, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and Under-Secretary-General in defining the status of rebel groups engaged in dialogues with governments. Quoting her new clarification on engaging in dialogues with rebel groups (example: LTTE) Ambassador Kariyawasam rejected the LTTE claim for legitimacy simply because the Government engages in a dialogue with them to put an end to LTTE's war crimes. In her report Ms. Poo stated: "It is critical to engage in a protection dialogue with all parties, whether Government or insurgencies, whose actions have significant impact on children, without any implications as to their political or legal status. Therefore, the engagement of dialogue with an insurgent group does not confer legitimacy or a particular legal status on that group. The only purpose for such dialogue is to ensure protection for and access to vulnerable children. Such dialogue must be conducted.

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