COLOMBO, 4 March 2003, The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and UNICEF agreed to the following in the development of the Action Plan on children affected by war in the North East including children involved in child labour, civilian or military.
It was agreed that the transit centers for children affected by war will be temporary and in the best interests of the child. These centers will be co-managed by international and national agencies including TRO and UNICEF. The centers will give an opportunity to assess children and make appropriate plans for their future.
These decisions were arrived at a meeting between Mr Tamilselvan, Head, Political Section, LTTE and Mr Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Representative on Tuesday 4 March in Kilinochchi.
"Our commitment to all children affected by war and not to recruit children has been firm and remains firm" Mr Tamilselvan said, "the LTTE has informed all military commanders and Heads of Political Sections, in writing, regarding the policy not to recruit children under 18 years of age. The LTTE has sent back to their families over 350 children and are committed to find solutions for all children who are not with their families."
"I am encouraged by the positive decisions reached at this meeting." Mr Ted Chaiban said, "This is an important step forward for all children."
For further information please contact:
Mr. Thayamaster, LTTE media spokesperson on 021 2223941. email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mr. M. Nizar, Communication Officer, UNICEF on 01 551331/2 0777416739 or email@example.com.