Monday, November 13, 2006

Child Soldiers

The leading news in BBC website has been a UN report on Sri Lanka (1 hrs+).
But Allan Rock, a special adviser to the UN representative for children and armed conflict, said government forces had forcibly rounded up young Tamil children to fight with Col Karuna's group.
"We encountered both direct and indirect evidence of... complicity and participation," he said of the government security services

Who is Allen Rock?Is he this guy?
Allan Rock, PC, BA , LL.B (born August 30, 1947) is a lawyer and former Canadian politician and diplomat. He was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations (2004-2006) and had previously served in the Cabinet of Jean Chrétien, most notably as Justice Minister (1993-1997) and Health Minister (1997-2002).
"In his role as Minister of Justice, Rock was heavily involved in bringing about the Canadian gun registry. This program was plagued by massive cost overruns, and is rumoured to be one of the reasons for the failure of Rock's abortive leadership bid. However Rock's tenure as a federal cabinet minister was in general characterized by controversy ranging from the handling of compensation for victims of tainted blood donations to actions of his department in the Airbus affair (which ended in a public apology and $2,000,000 settlement to Brian Mulroney)."

Looks like Tigers are getting a "little help from their friends " in Canadian Liberal Party.

"Mr Rock said the fact that Sri Lankan troops were complicit in the recruitment of child soldiers meant that Tamil Tiger rebels would continue to do so, as it corroded the rule of law."
(Whoaha that's why they have been recruiting child solders all along! )


Anonymous said...

yeah ... what a freaking moron.

N said...

I was pretty flabbergasted reading that article on the front page of the BBC, you would have thought we would have heard something about the manner from at least the UTHRJ who are pretty much on the ground all the time.

Of course if he's part of Paul Martin's last government that explains the framing of the allegation.

Tish said...

The whole thing is utter bullshit. BBC’s bias against the GOSL has turned from an amusing abhorrence, to absolute contempt. I find it vexing that the article does not actually communicate any information from the so called UN ‘report’, rather relying on the dubious remarks of one Mr. Allen Rock. However, my main concern with the article how it coerces the reader into is prejudiced opinion that Sri Lankan security forces physically capture children for warfare, while only glossing over the factual realities of the anti-humanitarian practises of the terrorists and their break-away detractors. Frankly, the only accusation that could be levelled against the security forces in relation to either terrorist group is indifference.

To paraphrase the late great Ed Bradley, we have lost is time in an effort to make time; journalists of the past used to have to take time to meditate upon the issues and corroborate the facts that comprise a story before it could become public domain. And sadly, this is problem with journalism since the advent of the internet and 24-hour cable news networks.

Sam said...

This is the BBC report:
// Allan Rock, a special adviser to the UN representative for children and armed conflict, said government forces had forcibly rounded up young Tamil children to fight with Col Karuna's group.//

It sound like SL army physically “Round Up” children like in fox hunting, then forcibly recruit them and hand them over to Karuna group.

This is the Yahoo (AFP) Reports:
// Rock said troops traveled to Tamil villages and photographed children who were later forcibly enlisted by the Karuna group, which worked closely with security forces in the eastern districts of Batticaloa and Ampara.//

I’m not justifying either way (IF the story is true). But some one is bullshitting with their news. I’m pretty sure it is not Yahoo.

Karuna and LTTE, they both know their neighbors better than the army, and they don’t need photos to recruit children. Karuna Group and LTTE, they both live among people. They kidnap their neighbor’s children. That is not handpicked recruitment. But I defiantly like to know the truth of this.

IF this is true, then this is a disaster. After all one way or other poor Tamil kids have to die for rich basted live in Colombo and Canada. When LTTE do that, which is a deferent story. But IF government helps them to do that, I become a direct part of it. I’m very uncomfortable with that. I want to see someone to do something about it.

If Allan Rock is wrong then this is not “little help from their friends”. Then this is a disaster. I want to see someone to do something about it too.

One way or another, this story is very disturbing.

Sam said...

Yes Chandare. You are correct. Canadian Ambassador to the UN in Sri Lanka behalf of Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy on president’s request.

Sophist said...

Guys I don't know why you are criticising this bloke so much. After all he says there was eyewitness AND anecdotal evidence. Besides Dhumeetha Luthra the last great bastion of journalism has almost corroborated him. The government is evil. Didn't you know all this time?

Niroshan said...

And what the hell is our Government doing? Shouldn't they at least issue some protest statements to UN and BBC? This is definitely a new low for BBC as far as their bias towards LTTE is concerned. They are surely taking it to another level.

ivap said...

chandare - Not sure if you have gotten round to reading the latest UTHR(J) report. I haven't seen it announced online anywhere else so I posted a link to it at moju. Having said that I haven't been following things in SL closely so may have already appeared on some sites.

Anyway, here are the relevant sections. The whole thing is quite damning if you ask me.

6. The Navy's Role in Child Conscription in Trincomalee

Since the middle of this year, there have been well-authenticated reports of the complicity of the government forces in the conscription of children and adults by the Karuna group. This was extended to Trincomalee in August. The following instance of child conscription took place in Trincomalee on 21st October.

Mas. Selvarajah Rasamanikkam and Mas. Satyaraj Konam of 3rd Mile Post, near Anbuvelipuram, Trincomalee, were abducted by the Karuna group in the night of 21st October as communicated by relatives. About 9.30 PM, persons in the neighbourhood saw the Karuna party with arms bringing some boys, stopped at the Green Rd. junction naval check point. A little later Navy men came on motorcycles and escorted the Karuna men and their illicit human cargo to their office. People in the area hear sounds of agony, as abducted persons are tortured to join the group.

This is the level at which the State is safeguarding the rights of the people after years of protesting loudly about child conscription by the LTTE. We have recorded a host of cases of the LTTE doing the same thing and have condemned it as a crime. We expect better standards from the Government. It should know better that there is no justification for expecting Tamils to fight its war when all its actions point to denying them a decent settlement. Abducting Tamils to fight for the Government is slavery according to the ICCPR that has now been dispensed with. The number of persons conscripted in Trincomalee is placed by local sources at over 50.

7. Partly State Aided Conscription for Fratricide Gathers Momentum

With the collapse of the recent second round of Geneva talks, all the parties are making a show of their bankruptcy by taking it out on children. In the LTTE-controlled area of Batticaloa District, especially Vavunathivu and Pattipalai DS Divisions, the LTTE (Vanni faction) has resumed conscription and many conscripts taken on 29th, 30th and 31st October are children. The number taken is about 70 and sources in the area name the leaders of the abduction teams as Raja, Nathan, Muthulingam and Annaseelan. On 2nd and 3rd November, the LTTE hosted the same circus in Vellaveli 14th and 16th colonies and Kakkachivattai.

The Karuna group showed no less zeal in conscripting children and adults in the government controlled areas abetted by the government forces. The Karuna group abducted 15 persons at a Sitthandy temple festival on 26th October. Subsequent reports spoke of large abductions in Batticaloa North from Kalkuda Namahal School, Valaichenai Hindu College, Puthukkudiyiruppu Vani School and Petthalai Vipulananda School. Persons in the area when asked are terrified of talking about it, given the context of ongoing killings by both sides. These are also places where the Army is present. All these conscripts have to be taken to Karuna’s bases through several government checkpoints.

The combined LTTE’s conscription of children before the 2004 split was terrible enough. Now two factions are conscripting children to kill each other. The international community, Norway and the Government bear a severe responsibility for this state of affairs; which stemmed from their lack of foresight and absence of principle in handling the Karuna split.

N said...

The UTHRJ report is pretty damning...BUT none of the allegations about photographing or rounding up of children are mentioned in it. UTHRJ reports complicity as opposed to out and out kidnapping...which was what BBC reported (not that excuses the complicity)...though the framing of the story on the BBC has changed now. The initial BBC report implied SLA recruited child soldiers directly to fight the LTTE...

...the UTHRJ allegations are still shameful and deserve investigation, arrests and harsh penalties for those involved

Chandare said...

My beef was with two parties .
1.Western politicians like Allen Rock and Danny Davis.They think they are helping but ends up making it worse.
2.BBC and the international media which I tried to address in

Anonymous said...

just out of curiosity, Chandare, if you in Allen Rock's shoes, what would you have done?