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Rock, disclose evidence of military involvement in child recruitment - NMAT

The National Movement Against Terrorism

NMAT. Colombo. November 15, 2006. The National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT) called upon Allan Rock, adviser to the U.N. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict on Sri Lanka, to make public the evidence he is alleged to have found to the effect that "certain elements of the government security forces are supporting and sometimes participating in the abductions and forced recruitment of children by a rebel faction in eastern Sri Lanka."

The NMAT, in a media release, stated that this is a very serious allegation and therefore requires the immediate attention of the government.

"The use of children in conflict is a serious concern on all fronts, especially human rights. The principle enemy of democracy is the LTTE, which has a long history of forced recruitment of children for military purposes. In this sense it makes perfect political and military sense for a government fighting terrorism to be friendly towards any group opposed to the LTTE. However, this does not justify the government sanctioning methodologies that mimic those used by the principle enemy. Moreover, the allegation is not just about the Karuna Faction recruiting children but that sections of the security forces are facilitating this. Hence this allegation has to be taken very seriously.

"The NMAT finds it disturbing that this allegation comes without any doumented substantiation and after what is no more than a cursory tour of the island. The NMAT places Rock's statement in the context of a long history of 'experts' who confuse freedom fighters with terrorists and are prone to accept whatever self-styled rebels state as biblical truth. Under these circumstances, the NMAT calls on Rock to disclose immediately the 'evidence' he refers to.

"The NMAT urges the government to obtain from Rock the 'evidence' he claims to be in possession and in the event that this 'evidence' is reliable, take immediate action against those responsible."


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