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Norwegian ambassador - Hans Brattskar

In going through old files to find material to deal with the allegations of the Darusman Report, I came across a number of documents that surely merit wider publicity at this stage. I found for instance the record of the visit of the Norwegian ambassador  to Kilinochchi in 2006, when he reported with regard to Child Recruitment that  –

  

  • Mr Tamilselvan had insisted that the issue of child recruitment does not fall within the paramilitaries (sic) of the CFA, and should not be part of the agenda at the next round of talks. The LTTE feels that the government is only politicizing the issue.

 

  • Mr Bratskar has pointed out that the CFA does mention of the abduction. Since a child cannot voluntarily join the LTTE military force, all recruitment will have to be treated as abduction. He had also argued that looking at the history of the six rounds of talks, there is an acknowledgement that recruitment should not be continued, and that continued recruitment was extremely damaging to the image of the LTTE at the international level.

 

 I suspect that it was because Mr Bratskar made this point so clearly that the LTTE, having gone to Geneva, failed to appear at the next round of talks.  This suggests that, had Sri Lankan negotiators been firm on this point earlier, the LTTE might have withdrawn sooner, but given the indulgence displayed to them in six rounds of talks in 2002 and 2003, they kept pushing the envelope further and further away from negotiations to stalling while they built up their military strength.

 

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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