Sri Lanka: January 8, 2003

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Despite earlier promises, the LTTE has not stopped using teenage conscripts, and has increased it's recruiting of young troops. Parents are pressured to "give a child to the army" and sometimes  teenage boys and girls are simply seized by LTTE recruiting squads. Parents are threatened with violence if they complain to outsiders. The problem here is that the LTTE is still operating like a guerilla organization that controls the civilian population through terror and coercion. A greater problem is a militant faction in the LTTE that wants to resume the war for complete independence of Tamil portions of Sri Lanka. This faction has considerable influence within the LTTE, which can be seen by the continued forced recruitment of children for their fighting forces, and refusal of LTTE peace negotiators to discuss disarmament.

 

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