Sri Lanka UN says staff forcibly recruited by Tigers

March 16, 2009 (AFP) – The United Nations said Monday one of its employees and his teenage daughter had been forcibly recruited by Tamil Tiger rebels to battle advancing government forces in Sri Lanka. The UN office in Colombo said it feared for the safety of the local employee and three of his family members who had been conscripted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the weekend.

“The forced recruitment included the 16-year-old daughter,” the office said in a statement, which called for their immediate release.

There was no immediate comment from the Tigers, who are struggling to survive a major military onslaught that has pushed them into a narrow strip of coastline in northeastern Sri Lanka.

The UN said another of its employees recruited by the Tigers two weeks ago has not yet been released. A month ago, another UN staff member was abducted by the rebels.

The UN has accused the Tigers of preventing tens of thousands of civilians from leaving Sri Lanka’s war zone and of shooting and “sometimes killing” those who try to escape.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Friday that some 2,800 civilians had been killed since January 20 in Sri Lanka’s embattle