Colombo: The UN has closed its dossier on Sri Lanka over child recruitment in armed conflict after deciding it is no longer an issue, a move welcomed by Colombo.
    
In early December the United Nations Security Council Working group on Children and Armed Conflict said it was closing its dossier on Sri Lanka after deciding that children in armed conflict were no longer an issue.
    
Sri Lanka welcomes the UN decision, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.
    
Responding to the decision, Sri Lanka's top defence official Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the military campaign against the LTTE said the international community should realise that the contentious issue of child soldiers could never have been resolved if the former Tamil rebels had retained its fighting capability.
    
Rajapaksa pointed out that those wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal for eradicating the LTTE had brazenly encouraged the LTTE's use of child soldiers.
    
He called for stringent action against those who had encouraged the use of child soldiers.
    
The UN in June 2012 de-listed Sri Lanka from the United Nations Secretary-General's 'List of Shame' that lists countries where children are involved in armed conflict acknowledging that the country successfully completed Security Council-mandated programmes to end the recruitment and use of children.
    
Commenting on the post-war national reconciliation process, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said that the government had given child combatants an opportunity to resume education.

(Agencies)

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