Sri Lanka

UNICEF, Tamil Tigers agree to new steps forward for children

News and Press Release
Originally published
Joint LTTE/UNICEF Press Release
COLOMBO, 4 March 2003, The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and UNICEF agreed to the following in the development of the Action Plan on children affected by war in the North East including children involved in child labour, civilian or military.
  • The LTTE will share a draft Action Plan with UNICEF on Monday 10 March.

  • A Working Group of the LTTE, Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and UNICEF will meet on 14 and 15 March to review the technical and operational aspects of the draft Action Plan.

  • A Planning Workshop will be held at the end of March 2003. The Workshop to finalise the Action Plan will include representatives from the LTTE, Government, TRO, UNICEF and other international agencies. The Action Plan Workshop will be followed by district level workshops to work out implementation in each district.

  • Child rights training for members of the LTTE and Heads of district Political Sections will take place during the second week of April 2003.
It was agreed that the transit centers for children affected by war will be temporary and in the best interests of the child. These centers will be co-managed by international and national agencies including TRO and UNICEF. The centers will give an opportunity to assess children and make appropriate plans for their future.

These decisions were arrived at a meeting between Mr Tamilselvan, Head, Political Section, LTTE and Mr Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Representative on Tuesday 4 March in Kilinochchi.

"Our commitment to all children affected by war and not to recruit children has been firm and remains firm" Mr Tamilselvan said, "the LTTE has informed all military commanders and Heads of Political Sections, in writing, regarding the policy not to recruit children under 18 years of age. The LTTE has sent back to their families over 350 children and are committed to find solutions for all children who are not with their families."

"I am encouraged by the positive decisions reached at this meeting." Mr Ted Chaiban said, "This is an important step forward for all children."

For further information please contact:

Mr. Thayamaster, LTTE media spokesperson on 021 2223941. email or
Mr. M. Nizar, Communication Officer, UNICEF on 01 551331/2 0777416739 or