LTTE committed HR abuses - US

17 December 2010 02:50 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The latest cables published by WikiLeaks website highlight human rights abuses committed by the LTTE and the SLMM of turning a blind eye to LTTE forced conscription.

Sources told representatives of the US embassy to Sri Lanka that the LTTE regularly demanded a cut of international NGOs' spending in the areas they controlled. Other sources described a harsh regime of compulsory conscription into fighting forces. "If they fail to report, they are taken forcibly, often at night," one said.

"The Tigers require at least one person between the ages of 18 and 35 per family to fight for the LTTE, apparently believing that if the "draftees" are at least 18 years old, the international community cannot criticize the Tigers for requiring military service. The LTTE provides written notice to draftees with orders to report to a particular military office for service. If they fail to report, they are taken forcibly, often at night."

Cables from early this year referred to "progress" by the Government of Sri Lanka on a range of human rights issues in recent months.
"There has been a dramatic improvement in the treatment of IDPs and their living conditions … [and] numbers of disappearances have experienced a steady and significant decline across the island since the end of the war," one dispatch said.

Another cable released in 207 said that Indian officials warn US the situation in Sri lanka is ‘beyond bleak’ and that neither the government nor Tamil separatists fighting in the island nation's north have any ‘regard’ for the international community ... and request a briefing on China's aid to Colombo.
Another affirmed that "child soldiers affiliated with the [paramilitaries] have been significantly reduced over the past year, with just five reportedly remaining at the end of 2009."

One senior journalist had been released from detention, the cable added, and diplomats were "not aware of any additional physical attacks on journalists since June [2009]".

There was even some tentative steps" on "accountability" for human rights abuses during the civil war, Washington was told.

"Accountability for alleged crimes committed by [government of Sri lanka] troops and officials during the war is the most difficult issue on our bilateral agenda, and the one we believe has the lowest prospect for forward movement," a cable sent in late January said. "In Sri Lanka this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country's senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate [and former military commander] General Fonseka."

Related links
Human rights abuses by Tamil Tigers - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/111710
'Progress' on human rights in Sri Lanka -http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/244835
India warns US the situation in SL is ‘beyond bleak’ - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/106051
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