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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2681

Sri Lanka: TMVP leader Colonel Karuna recruits 142 boys - UNICEF report

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 14 November, ( The LTTE rebel faction Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) led by Colonel Karuna Amman has been accused of recruiting at least 142 boys below 18 years of age, a newly released UNICEF report states.

"As of 31 October 2006 there are also 142 outstanding cases of under age recruitment by the Karuna group, all of them boys," the report said.

However this United Nations organization estimates that its database only reflects a third of the actual number of children, because often parents do not report abductions in fear of being harassed by these rebel cadres.

UNICEF was given a mandate to monitor child rights violations of the ceasefire agreement at the Oslo round of Peace Talks in November 2002.

According to the latest statistics, as of October 31, 2006, there are 1598 outstanding cases of under age recruitment by the LTTE. Of these, 649 are under the age of 18, and 949 were recruited while under 18 but have now passed that age.

"UNICEF continuously checks its database on under age recruitment to ensure its accuracy. UNICEF only withdraws recruits from its database when it is able to verify their release through an official letter of release, or by establishing that the child is handed back to their parents or guardians," the report added.

- Asian Tribune -

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