Outrage over Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka ; A Human Rights Group Has Accused Government Forces of Aiding a Militia in the Kidnapping of Children

By Nachammai Raman Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 29, 2006 | Go to article overview

Outrage over Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka ; A Human Rights Group Has Accused Government Forces of Aiding a Militia in the Kidnapping of Children


Nachammai Raman Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The Tamil Tiger rebels have long been known to use child soldiers in their extended campaign against the Sri Lankan government. The average age of the Tigers' child soldiers, according to UNICEF, is 16 years old.

But the disappearance of three children in this frontier town two weeks ago near a Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold has sparked a different kind of outrage. As large-scale hostilities return to this island nation, international human rights observers are now accusing the Sri Lankan Army of helping a militia group enlist children in fighting the Tamil rebels.

The new accusations come one day after Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, himself a former teenage soldier, declared a resumption to the violent struggle for an independent Tamil state. Many Sri Lankans who were once buoyed by optimism after a 2002 cease fire now worry that the forcible recruitment of child soldiers will rise sharply.

This is the first time, relatives of the missing boys say, that children as young as 11 years old have been abducted.

"This is a kidnapping, for sure. The children didn't run away," says Devaraj Amudharaj, a relative of one of the kidnapped boys, whom he says were neighbors and close friends. "We don't suspect anyone in particular. It could be the army, or the LTTE, or the Karuna group or some other armed group," he says, referring to the rebel militia Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Karuna group is a breakaway faction of the main Tamil Tiger rebel outfit. Led by Muralitharan Vinayagamoorthy, who is also known as Karuna, the group has a strong presence in eastern Sri Lanka, where they have been fighting against the Tiger militia since 2004.

Sri Lankan government forces are believed to be helping the Karunas kidnap young boys. UN Special Adviser Allan Rock directly accused the government of abetting child abductions at the end of a factfinding mission to Sri Lanka two weeks ago. US-based Human Rights Watch joined the UN envoy's allegations Monday, adding that the government has known about the Karuna group's kidnappings since at least June 2006.

"Official surprise at Ambassador Rock's allegations are not genuine," said Jo Becker of the US-based Human Rights Watch in a press release. "There's no way the Karuna forces could transport vanloads of abducted children along these roads without government forces knowing."

Despite the swelling chorus of angry human rights activists, right-wing politicians behind Sri Lanka's majority-Sinhalese government have vilified Mr. Rock, calling him a "Tiger" and a "village gossip." For their part, Human Rights Watch officials say they have "clear and compelling evidence" of government violations.

According to UNICEF communication officer Francis Mead, the only distinction between the Karunas and the Tamil Tigers is that while the former recruit only boys, the Tigers recruit both boys and girls. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Outrage over Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka ; A Human Rights Group Has Accused Government Forces of Aiding a Militia in the Kidnapping of Children
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.