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UNICEF upholds Government’s policy on zero civilian casualties during the last stage of operation

Jul 12, 2011 11:01:16 AM - itnnews.lk

UNICEF in its latest report has upheld the Sri Lankan Government’s policy on zero civilian casualties during the end days of the 2009 terrorist war.

The new UNICEF report proves 40,000 civilians were not killed during the final stages of the conflict. A statement on the Defence Ministry website said that UNICEF, in a report this month on “missing persons” accounts the numbers as 2,564 individuals thus proving 40,000 civilians were not killed in May 2009. UNICEF says it launched the project, Family Tracing and Reunification in December 2009 over nine Districts in response to a spate of tracing requests received since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. It believes in spite of difficulties in tracking down those listed missing; more children could be found and re-united with their families.

According to the Defence Ministry, to date 78 children were matched and referred to probation for tracing, verification and reunification.

UNICEF further reported that the LTTE terrorists were responsible for forcible recruitment of underage children to war. It added that children who escaped or taken into custody by Sri Lankan troops were being rehabilitated and reunited with their families.