LTTE releases surrendered SLA soldier in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 July 2004, 03:09 GMT]
A soldier of the Sri Lanka Army who surrendered to the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna on Tuesday was handed back to the SLA by the LTTE through the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the Human Rights Commission, reports from Jaffna said.

Lance Corporal Nawimana Withanage Wasantha Upulkumara,22, of the 512 brigade in Jaffna, who hails from the Nelumweva village in Pollanaruwa, escaped his camp following clashes with other soldiers in the camp and surrendered to the LTTE.

According to the soldier, during the clashes at the camp he fired at a higher-ranked soldier, but the officer was not injured, and fearing punsihment he left the camp to take refuge at a nearby house at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The villagers handed over the soldier at the LTTE’s political office in Nallur.

The soldier was then taken to the Kokuvil political office of the LTTE, where he expressed the wish to rejoin the SLA. The LTTE officials then invited SLMM and HRC officials to their office and handed over the soldier.

The Jaffna-based Tamil daily, Uthayan, reported without confirmation that the soldier had informed the LTTE that he joined the SLA in 1996 when he was only 14. This raises the issue of recruitment of children by the Government of Sri Lanka for its Army, the paper said.

 

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