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UN removes Sri Lanka from the 'List of Shame'

Jun 22, 2012

In what seems to be a 'welcome news' for Sri Lanka, the country is no longer mentioned in the list of countries where kids are involved in armed conflicts. Putting the history of three-decade long war involving Tamil Tiger terrorists on the back-burner, the country has been de-listed from report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.

Sri Lanka is no longer in the United Nations Secretary-General's 'List of Shame' that lists countries where children are involved in armed conflict.

The Secretary-General has issued his annual report on children and armed conflict to the Security Council which gives an overview of the situation of children in conflict zones and measures taken for their protection.

Three years after the end of the three-decade long war during which the Tamil Tiger terrorists recruited thousands of children to fight the government forces, the country has been de-listed from the Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.

The Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Mrs. Radhika Coomaraswamy has said that it is encouraging to delist Nepal and Sri Lanka after their successful completion of Security Council-mandated action plans to end the recruitment and use of children. The present report covering the period from January to December 2011 says that the security situation in Sri Lanka has been stabilized, gradually moving towards an early recovery.

The section relating to Sri Lanka in the report says that no new cases of recruitment of children by armed groups have been reported since October 2009. However, the whereabouts of 1,373 children of a total of 6,905 who had been recruited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) remains unknown. It says that the National Child Protection Authority has undertaken an independent investigation and made recommendations to the Government of Sri Lanka which are being pursued by the Criminal Investigation Division of the police.

It further says that since 2008, three rehabilitation centres have been in operation, providing education, care, psychosocial support and reunification assistance to children associated with LTTE. To date, 594 children aged between 12 and 18 years, including 364 boys and 230 girls, have completed the rehabilitation programme and have been reunited with their families.

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