Sri Lanka The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has lasted nearly three decades and is one of the longest-running civil wars in Asia. More commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, the LTTE wants an independent state for the island's Tamil minority. This on-going conflict has led a number of human rights abuses, one of which is the use of schools by both government and oppositional forces. • In 2009, nine schools were used by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) to detain “surrendees” (adults identified by the government of Sri Lanka as formerly associated with the LTTE). Despite the separation by barbed wire between the school and the “surrendee” site, adult “surrendees” are seen walking around the schools. The SLAF had also established barracks within school compounds and classrooms, and other school facilities were “being used by the forces, causing high levels of disruption to the schools’ normal routine”. Over 5,700 children had their schooling disrupted as a result. • In a situation report published in October 2011, a Member of Parliament with the Tamil National Alliance expressed concern that the military bases and occupations [of schools]... may be permanent as at least seven schools in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi were occupied by the military. [There] are claims that permanent houses for military personnel and their families will be constructed [in schools] in the Vanni and other parts of the North. • Throughout 2011, the Government of Sri Lanka made headway in the evacuation of school premises, vacating four out of five schools recorded in [a] previous report. However, one school in Poonahri, Kilinochchi District, remained in use by the Sri Lankan Army. The Government indicated that the school would be vacated by May 2012. As of April 2013, all schools are reported as free of military forces by the United Nations Secretary General.
Sri Lanka Resources • Report: Land in the Northern Province: Post-War Politics, Policy, and Practices • GCFPE Report: Lessons in War: Military Use of Schools and Other Education Institutions During Conflict • UN Security Council Report: Report of the Sec-Gen on Children and Armed Conflict, April 2012 • UN Security Council Report: Report of the Sec-Gen on Children and Armed Conflict, December 2007 • Council on Foreign Relations Report: The Sri Lankan Conflict