UN, Tamil Tigers discuss issue of child soldiers

Agence France Presse

Kilinochchi, June 18:

UNICEF agreed today to work with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels to tackle the issue of child soldiers, a top official of the UN childrens’ agency said after talks with a rebel leader. The executive director of UNICEF, Ann Veneman, told reporters she discussed the question of underage combatants in rebel-held areas. “We had a good discussion on this issue,” Veneman

said after talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political wing leader SP Thamilselvan. “We have agreed we will work together to address the issue.” UNICEF has repeatedly asked the LTTE to give up the practice of recruiting boys and girls below the age of 18 years. Last month, UNICEF said the Tigers had recruited fewer child soldiers this year amid mounting international condemnation of enlisting underage combatants.