Monitors want LTTE to avoid unauthorised cadre movement

by Kalinga Weerakkody

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has strongly recommended to the LTTE not to make armed Tiger movements in the night either in unauthorised places or high security zones, controlled by the Sri Lankan security forces and has strictly informed them not to possess fire-arms in such movements.

This decision was made following an abortive attempt made by a large group of armed Tigers from Koviladi to move towards Morawewa via the Kantale-Trincomalee road early hours of Sunday morning at Thambalagamuwa in Kantale.

The spokesman of the SLMM based in Trincomalee Gan Ledang told ‘The Island’ that though he was not in a position to reveal the members whom they had met to convey the decision, the SLMM had already informed the LTTE high command of the decision and the requirement to act in accordance with that decision.

When asked about the under-age child soldiers who had been in the group, Ledang said that though he could not confirm the exact number there was no doubtthat there were many under-aged.

Despite the assurance given by the LTTE to the international human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) based in London that it would only recruit those above 18 years as stipulated by the UN treaty on recruitment a spate of conscription of under-eighteens had been reported from the eastern part of the island.

Sources said that under the guise of child welfare centres the LTTE had established training camps in secret hideouts in the north and eastern parts of the country. The security personnel who had been on alert on the day of the incident after seeing LTTE’s movement near the 181st mile post prevented them from proceeding further as they possessed firearms.

The leader of the Addawana LTTE camp ‘Kamaladasan’ had told security personnel that they were transiting from the ‘Surangal camp’ to ‘Addawana camp’ in Morawewa.

The security officers who were immediately informed of the tense situtation managed to prevent a major clash.

The heavily armed LTTE group had comprised 200 to 250 cadres in civvies and prior to the arrival of the SLMM members a section of the group had left the area taking the arms of their members.

After the arrival of the SLMM members 147 unarmed cadres were allowed to cross.