@

 
   
   
   
   
   
HOME
NEWS  
NEWS FEATURES  
INTERVIEWS  
POLITICAL COLUMN  
THIS IS MY NATION  
MILITARY MATTERS  
EDITORIAL  
SPORTS  
CARTOON  
BUSINESS  
EYE - FEATURES  
LETTERS  
EVENTS  
SOUL - YOUTH MAG  
KIDS - NATION  
ENTERTAINMENT  
NATION WORLD  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

News  


 

New life for ex-Tigers: Shavendra highlights Lanka’s success story

With the defeat of terrorism in May 2009, through a massive humanitarian rescue mission, the Sri Lankan Government took concerted action to rehabilitate and reintegrate all former child combatants. Among them, 351 were girls, said Major General Shavendra Silva, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the UN in New York.
He was speaking at the Security Council open debate on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ in New York recently.
Knowing that these children had been forced to take up guns instead of school books, the Sri Lankan Government adopted a prudent, practical and compassionate approach towards their reintegration based on the principles of women empowerment, livelihood training, psycho-social support, and above all, restorative justice, he added.

“The state and society view them as victims and not as perpetrators. The lessons learnt and the good practices adopted by Sri Lanka in the arduous process of rapidly restoring the future of these children, deserve appreciation. Ours is a success story that has no parallel elsewhere,” he stressed.
Despite the resource challenges, it is nevertheless heartening to note that the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2010, ranks Sri Lanka at number 16 on Gender Parity, he added.
Following are excerpts from the speech:

we appreciate the briefings by the under secretary-general for UN Women, the Under Secretary-General for DPKO, the president of ECOSOC and the civil society representative.
The adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), ten years ago, was a landmark in our efforts to recognise the women’s contribution to the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and their specific needs and concerns during and in the aftermath of armed conflicts.
Today’s debate in many ways would be an assessment of the evolution of this issue, as well as an opportunity to identify the challenges ahead.

Although the devastation stemming from armed conflicts does not discriminate along gender lines, it is known that women and children, particularly girls, often experience a disproportionate share of the harm during and in the aftermath of armed conflicts.
It is known that in the context of some armed conflicts involving non-State actors, young girls are often forced into early and underage marriages and, early pregnancies, in order to avoid forcible recruitment into the fighting ranks by non- state actors.

Such practices pose serious health implications for the young mothers and their children.
The practice of recruiting young women and girls as suicide bombers, undoubtedly a viciously obnoxious practice, not only snuffs out their worldly aspirations but also deprives their communities and societies of their productive contributions.
The perpetration of sexual violence against women which leaves them debilitated psychologically and, in most instances, physically.

In post-conflict environments, the challenges faced by women remain formidable.
Sri Lanka, having grappled with a virulent form of terrorism perpetrated by the LTTE, is fully cognisant of the despicable reality that once clouded the lives of the young girls and women in the North and East of the country.
You would recall that Sri Lanka had to intervene in this august council’s deliberations under Resolutions 1539 and 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict, to focus attention on the abhorrent practice of child recruitment for combat by the LTTE terrorists, and the deployment of young women as suicide bombers.

With the defeat of terrorism in May 2009, through a massive humanitarian rescue mission, the government took concerted action to rehabilitate and reintegrate all former child combatants. Among them, 351 were girls.
Knowing that these children had been forced to take up guns instead of school books, the Government of Sri Lanka adopted a prudent, practical and compassionate approach towards their reintegration.

Such an approach was based on the principles of women empowerment, livelihood training, psycho-social support, and above all, restorative justice. For those who missed the opportunity of experiencing a childhood and a formal education, arrangements have been made through the ‘catch up schools’ to enable them to complete the General Certificate of Education examinations, irrespective of their current age.
The state and society view them as victims and not as perpetrators.

The lessons learnt and the good practices adopted by Sri Lanka in the arduous process of rapidly restoring the future of these children, deserve appreciation.
Ours is a success story that has no parallel elsewhere.
With regard to former adult LTTE cadres, the government has placed a high priority on their social and economic reintegration.