Kohona clears misconceptions about children, armed conflict

Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Underlying realities of child soldiers and armed conflict in Sri Lanka have been ignored by a report released by the US-based Conflict Dynamics International in an endeavour “to stroke up embers of a bitter past and politicise the issue of accountability related to child recruitment”, said Sri Lanka’s envoy to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona at an open debate at the Security Council on 12 July, the Asian Tribune website reports.

Accordingly, Ambassador Kohona stressed that the misinformation and distortions of the Conflict Dynamics International report feeds to the international elements to strengthen their maneuvers to disrupt the Sri Lanka government’s initiation for reconciliation and consolidate peace within the country since the military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. “In the final stages of the conflict, children were thrown up in large numbers by the LTTE as cannon fodder and more than one generation of children was sacrificed to realise a megalomaniac’s (referring to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran) dream”, he conceded.

The website quotes Dr. Kohona as saying that the assertion of the Report of the Conflict Dynamics International that “individuals implicated in crimes against children in the area of armed conflict continue to hold high-government positions is sadly incomplete and misleading. The Government had consistently encouraged former armed groups to denounce violence and enter the democratic process as a part of the reconciliation effort.”

He also elaborated on the Government’s successful attempts at driving ex-LTTE cadres towards democratic politics.