Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Tuesday lashed out at separatist Tamil Tiger rebel conscription of children to fight government forces for independence in the north and east of the country.
Kumaratunga said in a statement that she is deeply concerned that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) rebels are taking advantage of a ceasefire to launch large-scale forcible recruitment of children for their war against the government.
She said it was of paramount importance that the rights of all civilians in the north and east of the country, especially children, were protected.
She appealed to the LTTE rebels to honor their commitment to the United Nations and stop such practice.
It is reported that the LTTE rebels have been visiting houses in government controlled areas in the east to force children from Tamil families to join their ranks.
Both the government and LTTE rebels are observing their unilateral ceasefire which started on Christmas eve last year and an agreement on permanent ceasefire is hopefully to be signed later this month with Norwegian mediation.