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UNSC warns LTTE of punishment

UNSC warns LTTE to implement its promise not to recruit children for its fighting units, but no warning of punitive action was issued to Karuna group, reports PK Balachandran.
None | By PK Balachandran, Colombo
UPDATED ON MAY 12, 2007 02:45 PM IST

The United Nations Security Council's Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict on Friday warned the LTTE of unspecified punitive action for failing to carry out its oft-repeated promise not to recruit children for its fighting units. The breakaway Karuna group was also chastised, but no warning of punitive action was issued to it.

"If in the coming months, the LTTE does not respond favourably to this message, or does not carry out its commitments or abide by its obligations in accordance with applicable international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, including SCR 1612 (2005), further steps may be taken," a statement from Working Group said.

The statement issued by France's permanent representative in the UN, Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, said that the Working Group "strongly" condemned the recent recruitment and use of child soldiers and all other violations and abuses committed against children by the Karuna faction. But it refrained from holding out any threat of punitive action against this faction.

UN monitoring sought

Meanwhile the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for a UN mission to monitor human rights violations in Sri Lanka in view of the difficulties local monitoring groups faced in doing their job. Even the Scandinavian-staffed truce monitoring mission is unable to do its work because of the non-cooperation and hostility of the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government.

But the United States is not backing the bid to get the UN to station a rights monitoring team in Sri Lanka. Monitoring was best left to the Sri Lankan government, said Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, here in Colombo on May 10.

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