Secretary-General has underscored the urgent need for a political solution to end the bloodshed in Sri Lanka following the Government’s decision to terminate the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement that halted a decades-long conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Mr. Ban is “deeply worried” that the withdrawal from the accord comes amidst intensifying fighting in the North and increasing violence across the country, including the capital, Colombo, his spokesperson said in a statement today.
“The Secretary-General urges all concerned to ensure the protection of civilians and enable humanitarian assistance to be provided to affected areas,” the statement added.
In a report released last week, Mr. Ban highlighted the continued recruitment and use of children as soldiers, particularly by the Tamil Tiger rebels and a breakaway group known as the Tamil Makkal Viduthali Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna faction.
The report noted that “both parties have failed to cease the abduction, recruitment and use of children.” In addition, the LTTE and the TMVP/Karuna faction – which split from the Tamil Tigers and now supports Government troops – have also failed to “release all children associated with their forces and engage in transparent procedures for release and verification,” which includes allowing the UN Task Force on monitoring and reporting full access to military locations under their control.