In a humanitarian gesture to Tamils, Sri Lanka has said that child soldiers recruited by the LTTE would not be prosecuted, and instead made to go to schools.
The gesture was announced by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa who said: “our hearts are not vicious. We will not prosecute children who are 12, 13 and 14 years of age and were forced to take up arms.” “We need to integrate them into society after rehabilitation,” he said.
The President pointed out that the LTTE denied education to young children in the North and East by recruiting them as combatants to fight a “useless” war.
He was speaking in the holy town of Mahiyangana in Badulla on Saturday. He said the government has released all persons of 60 years of age and above in the IDP camps. The remaining 40,000 refugees are children.