The secessionist organisation the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continues to use child soldiers in its battle against the Sri Lankan armed forces, the defence ministry said on Wednesday. It added that the LTTE forcibly recruit children and teenagers to fill up their fast-depleting ranks.
Quoting defence intelligence sources, the ministry said personnel of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) recovered three “obituary posters” giving the name, rank and unit of 150 LTTE cadres, including those of several child soldiers in the Karakakulam area in the northern part of the country. They found the posters after capturing the office of an LTTE regional leader.
The defence ministry said the pictures included “five self-styled lieutenant colonels, nine majors, fourteen captains, fifty-one lieutenants, forty-one second lieutenants and thirty others without rank.”
An intelligence unit officer speculated that the posters might have been to convince the parents of the dead that their children had been given very high status or rank in the outfit. The cadres without any rank appeared to be in their early to mid teens.
The posters also showed that the LTTE cadres were killed at various locations in the Jaffna and Wanni theatre of operations from 17th February to 10th March this year, according to the intelligence officer's report.
“It is a well known fact that LTTE is forcibly taking young children from their parents to be trained as terrorists. So, aggrieved parents are now rallying against the LTTE leadership in the Wanni for robbing their loved ones from them,” he added.