UN notes government probe on Iniya Bharati

The United Nations (UN) has noted that the government has investigated allegations of child recruitment by former TMVP member Iniya Bharati.

The newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, in a report to the UN Human Rights Council said that the Government investigated the whereabouts of the remaining children allegedly associated with the faction led by Iniya Bharati, thus entering into compliance with its commitments under its action plan.

Zerrougui presented the annual report of her predecessor, Radhika Coomaraswamy, to the Human Rights Council in Geneva which is currently having its 21st session.

Meanwhile speaking at the interactive dialogue after the report was presented, the Sri Lankan delegation noted that it was one of the first countries to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children in armed conflict and made their employment a punishable penal offence.

The Sri Lankan delegation reiterated that armed conflict not only led to violations of children’s rights but also deprived them of their basic socio-economic rights.

Sri Lanka had undergone an internecine conflict for nearly three decades in which thousands of children had been forcibly conscripted by terrorist groups, the delegation said.