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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

Radhika Coomaraswamy & Allan Rock urges Security Council Working Group to recommend targeted sanctions against LTTE

New York, 11 February, ( Radhika Coomaraswamy the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and her Special Adviser on Sri Lanka Ambassador Allan Rock appealed to the UN Security Council Working Group to impose targeted sanctions against LTTE.

Ambassador Rock also highlighted that going by UNICEF estimates, since 2001, the LTTE appeared to have recruited over 18,000 children as combatants. He also expressed regret that the commitment made to him by the LTTE leadership to cease child recruitment by 1st January, 2007 had not been honored.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Prasad Kariywasam joined in the appeal and urged the UN Working Group to recommend to the Security Council, the adoption of targeted measures against the LTTE.

The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 9 February 2007 at the UN in New York to consider the Reports of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict issues in Sri Lanka.

This closed Meeting of the Working Group chaired by the Permanent Representative of France to the UN was attended by members of the Security Council-China, Russia, UK, USA, Belgium, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia and South Africa. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Advisor to the Special Representative, Ambassador Allan Rock, and the representative of UNICEF were also present.

The Delegation of Sri Lanka comprised Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Mr. C.R. de Silva, Solicitor-General of Sri Lanka, Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor-General and Mission officials.

Both Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, and Ambassador Rock presenting a Report on his visit to Sri Lanka, appealed to the Working Group to consider the imposition of targeted measures against the LTTE.

Ambassador Kariyawasam spoke on behalf of the delegation of Sri Lanka. It was explained that the violations and abuses committed against children by the LTTE were contrary to its own commitments.

Recalling the LTTE’s failure to implement the public undertaking given to Mr. Olara Otunnu nine years ago to cease the recruitment of children, and the plan of action entered into in 2003 with UNICEF to release children in its ranks, he welcomed the report of the Secretary-General identifying the LTTE as a repeat offender.

The Ambassador urged the Working Group to heed to the call of the Secretary-General and recommend to the Security Council, the adoption of targeted measures against the LTTE. Only such targeted measures will make the LTTE realize the futility of continuing to engage in this barbaric practice and of following the path of violence and terrorism, and make them return to the negotiation table with a view to obtaining a political solution to the conflict.

Responding to alleged abduction and recruitment of children by the Karuna Faction, the Government delegation emphasized that the Government is pleased to note that the Karuna Faction is working with the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF. While the Government condemns alleged abduction and recruitment of children by this Group, he stated that the Government will take necessary action to investigate the allegations made.

The Government delegation firmly stated that the allegation that the Security Forces of the Government were directly or indirectly involved in child abductions carried out by the Karuna Faction were based on superficial and unverified hearsay material. It would be unsafe for the Working Group of the Security Council to act on such unreliable material.

As a responsible member of the international community, and in keeping with the Government’s policy, the Government has decided to adopt necessary measures to cause an independent and credible investigation into these allegations. The Government is determined to enforce the rule of law without fear or favor against those who may be found to have been involved in child abductions. This was consistent which the government’s commitment to a negotiated and honorable end to the conflict.

Several member States of the Working Group commenting on the presentations made, unequivocally condemned the continued abduction and recruitment of children by LTTE as child combatants. The Working Group is now expected to deliberate and decide on the best possible course of action to be taken.

- Asian Tribune -

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