America welcomes release of 11 children from Pillayan Group

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 April 2008, 18:08 GMT]
The United States on Thursday welcomed the release of eleven underage personnel of the Pillayan Group, the paramilitary-cum-political party Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP).

Full text of the press release issued by the U.S. Embassy follows:

United States Welcomes Release of Children

Colombo – April 10, 2008: The United States welcomes the release on April 7 of eleven children by the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). We commend the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka, UNICEF, and other parties to bring about this release and their commitment to providing counseling, rehabilitation, and training that will enable former child soldiers to become productive members of society.

As the Government of Sri Lanka and the people of the Eastern Province work to bring stability to the East by expanding economic opportunities, strengthening the rule of law, and ending violence, this initial release of children is a positive development. It is a welcome first step, but there is more to be done. The United States urges the TMVP and other armed groups in the country to release all children under their control so that these young victims of conflict can begin the process of psychological healing, social integration, and education that will lead them to a brighter future.


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