Security Council must act now on LTTE - Human Rights Watch

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Security Council must act now on LTTE - Human Rights Watch

Post  Lasiru on Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:00 am

US: An international human rights watchdog yesterday asked the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on armed groups in Sri Lanka for using children in their ranks.

The UN Security Council's Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met yesterday for the second time since February 2007 to consider violations against children committed by the LTTE and the Karuna group, an armed group that split from the LTTE in 2004.

"The LTTE and the Karuna group continue to use children to fight their battles in clear violation of international law and Security Council resolutions," Jo Becker, children's rights advocate at Human Rights Watch said, adding the Security Council should punish their brazen violations with concrete action.

The rights group has also called upon the UN Security Council to urge the Sri Lankan Government to investigate cases of child abduction and recruitment.

"The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have ignored repeated appeals to end its use of child soldiers," said Becker, adding, "The time for Security Council action is now."

In a report on children and armed conflict worldwide made public in January, the UN Secretary-General listed the LTTE for the fifth consecutive time since 2002 for violating international standards regarding the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Human Rights Watch is recommending Security Council sanctions against the Karuna group for the first time, due to its continual violations of international standards.

"The UN has put the Karuna group on notice, but the Karuna group has refused to end its recruitment and use of child soldiers," said Becker. "It must be held accountable for these continuing violations."

HRW urged the UN to give the LTTE and the Karuna group 30 days to release all child soldiers. If the two groups refuse, the UN should impose arms embargoes and travel bans on their leaders and freeze their assets, HRW added.

Courtesy : Daily News


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