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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2403

U.N. Secretary General Rocks to Alan’s Melody to accept unauthentic data of Sri Lanka’s child soldiers

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 01 February (Asiantribune.com): Alan Rock, former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and onetime federal cabinet minister in Canada’s former Liberal government, who concluded after a special fact finding tour in Sri Lanka last November on the issue of the recruitment of child soldiers that not only the Tamil Tigers but also the break-away Karuna Group under the patronage of the Armed Forces was enlisting child soldiers to its ranks has now put UN Secretary General’s integrity into question.

Rock was in Sri Lanka in November 2006 on behalf of the UN’s special representative on child soldiers on an investigation mandated by the UN to report the issue of underage enlistment for military combat, an issue first brought to light by the UNESCO.

The Government of Sri Lanka immediately challenged the authenticity and veracity of Alan Rock’s November 13 pronouncement that alleged that the break-away LTTE faction of Karuna, with the concurrence of Sri Lanka Armed Forces, too was enlisting underage children for combat purposes. Rock also found fault with Sri Lanka’s separatist Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of enlisting underage children to its fighting cadre.

When the Sri Lanka media and prominent government spokesmen challenged Alan Rock’s November 13 statement while a section of the media taking a further step in connecting Mr. Rock to LTTE operatives domiciled in Canada with news reports and photographs the UN ‘investigator’ told the Windsor Star in Canada that “ever since November, when I made my conclusions public, there has been a very concerted effort in Sri Lanka by the media and the government spokesman to attack me and my integrity.”

The incorporation of Alan Rock’s November 13 announcement in the UN Secretary General’s report that covered 1 November 2005 through 31 October 2006 has now put the new UN Secretary General’s reputation and integrity in question.

Mr. Rock traveled to Sri Lanka in the month of November 2006, and the question is how did his November 13, 2006 announcement find way to the UN Secretary General’s report that covered up to 31 October 2006?

Alan Rock in his statement released on 13 November in Colombo Sri Lanka stated as follows: “The mission also discovered a disturbing development involving the Karuna abductions. It found strong and credible evidence that certain elements of the government security forces are supporting and sometimes participating in the abductions and forced recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.”

And, this is what Recommendation No: 6 of UN Secretary General’s report to the Security Council said: “I stress the need for the Government to immediately investigate allegations of certain elements of the Sri Lanka security forces involvement in aiding recruitment and/or abduction of children by the Karuna faction in the East and invite immediate support from UNICEF and other relevant agencies to address these allegations.”

One could see the similarity of the language in both statements.

The reputation and integrity of three persons here are involved: the Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy and her acolyte Alan Rock.

The seriousness of this ‘manipulation’ at the highest level of the United Nations with the concurrence of a former Canadian politician who is alleged to have links with Tamil Tiger activists and professionals domiciled in Canada is raised at a time when the ‘Asian Tribune’ has received a report from the United Nations itself welcoming a decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) headquartered in the Hague to try Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for war crimes involving children as soldiers.

“This case is considered a major milestone in international attempts to fight against impunity in order to eradicate the practice of using child soldiers. It will be the first trial of the ICC and, importantly, focuses exclusively on child soldiers,” said a statement from the Office of UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy.

A calculated attempt to release the LTTE leader Prabhakaran off the hook in focusing on the LTTE break-away faction of Karuna and Sri Lanka security forces’ alleged involvement of child soldier enlistment is a serious question that arises at the time the Congolese militia leader is taken before the ICC for involvement in recruiting underage children for combat purposes.

It was the UNESCO with facts that came out several times of Tamil Tiger engagement of child recruitment.

Now, Mr. Alan Rock has in fact subverted the integrity, openness and credibility of the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations by inserting the distorted version at the behest of his benefactors in the Canadian Tamil Tiger cadre to dilute the entire child recruitment issue to prevent Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran being brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes involving recruiting children as soldiers is the conclusion one could arrive at when observing the development of this whole episode.

- Asian Tribune -

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