Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs with the U.S. State Department, talked about child soldiers in Sri Lanka over the weekend. Paramilitaries should be demobilized, he said, and the use of child soldiers must be stopped immediately. From the U.S. State Department website:
Where you have the extension of government you also need to make sure that paramilitaries are demobilized, especially when it comes to child soldiers. There should not be any child soldiers, anywhere. We are engaged with UNICEF and the government to try to end the use of child soldiers by the paramilitaries.
And then Mr. Boucher remarked on the Tamil Tiger’s continued recruitment of child soldiers:
Child soldiers recruited by the terrorist groups need to be demobilized. These kids need to be let out of bondage, and even when you have situations like some of the groups that are split off and come into the political system, they cannot maintain those child soldiers just because of their history.