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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 114

'Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,' welcomes ....

[b][b]'Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,' welcomes EU travel ban imposed on the LTTE[/b][/b]

[b]London, 04 October: [/b]The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers welcomes the recent European Union (EU) agreement that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) delegations will no longer be received in EU member states. It calls on the LTTE to halt all recruitment of under-18s and to demobilize all children in its ranks.

The EU decision was made in the wake of EU condemnation of the killing of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, along with many other killings in recent weeks.

The EU statement emphasizes its concern at the continuing recruitment and retention of children by the LTTE, a practice it describes as “abhorrent”.

LTTE political head S.P. Tamilselvan reiterated the organization’s position that it does not recruit under-18s, following the EU statement.

“LTTE denials are belied by consistent evidence of abductions of children for military training. Child recruitment has increased since June 2005 and is ongoing” said Casey Kelso, the Coalition’s international director.

Many organizations, including UNICEF, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and others, have documented both forced and voluntary recruitment of children for military purposes in 2005.

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