SLMM allegations baseless - Army inquiry report
Ranil Wijayapala and Manjula Fernando in Batticaloa
BATTICALOA: The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission which has made
allegations against the Army on helping the Karuna faction to recruit
children has been aimed at highlighting a connection between the Army
and the Karuna group in the East and tarnishing the image of the Army,
an Army report reveals.
The report compiled by the Army after appointing a Board of Inquiry
to look into allegations made by the SLMM and the Special Rapporteur for
Children in Armed Conflict has totally rejected the allegations made by
the SLMM since the inquiry has found them to be totally false and
The Army also points out in its report that the SLMM had made those
allegations against the SLA without conducting any responsible inquiry
into the incidents of child abductions due to pressures of the LTTE.
The SLA appointed this special Board of Inquiry following the
allegations made by the SLMM and Rock to look into the allegations that
the Army is harbouring the Karuna faction to abduct children specially
in the East.
The Board of Inquiry has come out with its report this week after an
in-depth investigation conducted into the cases of child conscription by
the Karuna faction as alleged by the SLMM.
It has further revealed that the allegations made by the SLMM against
the Army were baseless since there was no clear evidence to point a
finger at the Army to say that these child abductions are taking place
with the knowledge of the Army.
The report also indicates that Arthur Tveiten, the SLMM Head in
Batticaloa has already apologised to the Army after he has been provided
with the facts to prove that he has been totally misled by the LTTE to
make such allegations against the Army.
On November 14, the SLMM Head in Batticaloa without any substantial
evidence tried to point a finger at the Karuna faction and the Security
Forces over the abduction of children in Eravur, Batticaloa.
The report also highlighted the fact that the LTTE is engaged in
these child abductions to discredit the Army while making an attempt to
convince the civilians that the Karuna faction is totally responsible
for these abductions.
However, the report has provided ample evidence from the parents of
the abducted children to say that they firmly believe the fact that
their children had been abducted not by the Karuna faction but the LTTE
was totally responsible for these abductions.
The report points out that the LTTE is misleading the parents of the
abducted children after telling them to go to the nearby Karuna faction
political office in search of their children once they abduct children
from various villages.
On December 04, the LTTE having abducted 12 children in the Eravur
area had informed the parents to come to the Karuna faction office to
get them released to convince them that the Karuna faction was
responsible for these abductions.
The investigation conducted by the Army in Batticaloa has revealed
that the LTTE is totally responsible for these abductions.
The SLA report also says though the SLMM and UN agencies try to
accuse the Army of supporting child abductions they have not fulfilled
their responsibility to prevent such incidents in the East.