A top United Nations envoy is going to Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission on the 'continuing recruitment and use of children' by Tamil Tigers.
Announcing the mission, UN Special Representative for Children Affected for Conflicts Radhika Coomaraswamy said that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam continues to recruit and use child soldiers and that her office has also received reports that the Karuna faction has abducted and recruited children under the age of 18.
"Besides recruitment of child soldiers, there are also allegations of other grave violations against children by all parties to the conflict," she said.
- Also see: The war in Lanka
Coomaraswamy said that she had appointed Ambassador Alan Rock of Canada as Special Advisor to conduct the fact-finding mission. The dates for the visit will be finalised after consulting the Sri Lankan government.
Rock had served as the Canadian ambassador to the UN from 2004 to June 2006. During this period, he was involved in setting up the UN Human Rights Council and the Peace-building Commission.
Increasing violence in Sri Lanka has led to repeated calls by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other high-level UN officials to both sides to return to the negotiating table.