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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2587

Sri Lanka's Demining Programme commended at the Geneva's International Director's Meeting

Colombo, 11 February, (Asiantribune.com):

30 year long civil conflict in Sri Lanka left many areas of the Northern and Eastern part of the country contaminated by anti-personnel mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). The International Meeting on Mine Action for National Directors and UN Advisors was held from 5th to 8th February 2019 in Geneva at the UN office.

This meeting was aimed at discussing the lesson learnt, best practices and emerging issues of the mine affected countries.

It is noted that the Suspected Hazardous Area was initially 1302 Sq. Km mostly in the 8 districts of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The mines clearance programme enabled the release of large area of 1277 sq.km for safe settlement and as a result, directly and indirectly contributed to the resettlement of 258,000 families said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development and Youth Affairs.

As at end 2018, only 25 sq.km is remaining to be cleared. This area included Muhamalai in Kilinochchi District, Nagarkovil in Jaffna District, Maritimepattu and Oddusudan in Mullaitivu District and other areas in the Northern and Eastern Districts. Out of the 8 district, Batticaloa has been declared as mine cleared area. Under the district-by-district approach, it is proposed to clear Trincomalee and Jaffna in 2019. Government of Sri Lanka's Vision is to make Sri Lanka a Mine Free Country by 2020.

The achievement of this vision requires an additional estimated funds of US$ 20 Mn. Currently, HALO Trust, MAG, Sri Lanka Army, DASH and SHARP are involved in the demining works. The achievement of Sri Lanka was commended at the International Meeting on Mine Action for National Directors and UN Advisors, compared to other countries.

The National Ownership, Government's Commitment, the availability of the national mine action strategy , Government's resource mobilization, robust monitoring and evaluation framework and a dedicated institutional structure of National Mine Action Centre within the Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Northern Province Development Division of the Ministry and Information Management System with disaggregated data and working towards the vision of a mine free country by 2020 have been commended at the meeting said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, the Ministry Secretary.

- Asian Tribune –

Sri Lanka's Demining Programme commended at the Geneva's International Director's Meeting
Sri Lanka's Demining Programme commended at the Geneva's International Director's Meeting
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