LTTE returns children to their parents in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 December 2002, 17:54 GMT]
Political leader for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for Vavuniya, Mr. Ezhilan, returned six children under the age of 18 who wanted to join the LTTE, to their parents, in the presence of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) officials and journalists in Vavuniya today.

Two of the children are girls. The SLMM’s representative in Vavuniya, Mr. Jukka Polonen speaking at the event said that he welcomed the children’s return as it “would contribute to the confidence-building process at this time of peace.”

Mr. Polonen said that the SLMM has received several complaints regarding many children who join the LTTE without the knowledge of their parents and the LTTE’s attention was drawn to the matter. He said that the SLMM has continuing discussions with the LTTE regarding identifying children who join without parents knowledge.

In his speech, Mr. Ezhilan said that though the children come voluntarily with eagerness to join the LTTE, the LTTE leader has sent instructions not to accept children. “Even though the children do not want to go back to their parents, the LTTE’s position is that the children should go back and continue their education,” he said and added that so far about 30 children have been returned to their parents in 4 stages.

The SLMM members participating in the event included LTTE nominated Mr. V. Sivanadiyar and Ratneswara Kurukkal, and the Government nominated Mr. P.S. Abdulla, in addition to foreign member Kristen Nutwick. The TULF’s Vavuniya district secretary Mr. Murthy also participated.


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