Sri Lanka has achieved excellent results in its demining program and country can complete demining process very soon in continuing the present institutional setup and machinery said United Nation’s Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subine Nandy participating in the progress review meeting of the National Mine Action Program of Sri Lanka. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Economic Development on 14 August under the patronage of Senior Adviser to the President and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.
Nandy further said Sri Lanka could progress well in the mine clearing operation due to the well coordinated efforts by the Ministry of Economic Development through its mine Action Centre. The Centre was able to bring together donors, demining organisations, Government institutions and people employed under this program and well manage all the process.
The works carried out by the Ministry and centre in this humanitarian movement is tremendous and now Sri Lanka can share its demining experience with other countries he said.
Minister Rajapaksa said the progress made by the country in demining had helped to expedite the reconstruction and resettlement works and initiate numerous development programs in the conflict affected area. Initially 2061 Square Kilometres were confirmed as hazardous areas contaminated with mines, booby traps including IDS and other explosive.
Up to now 1943 square Kilometres were cleared and only 118 square Kilo meters remain to be cleared. As a result, we could start resettlement in all five district in North, open the whole northern costal belt, carry out reconstruction of A32, A12, A5 roads and two railway lines, open of the eastern beaches for tourism, open the access for two most famous religious heritages at Madu Church and Thirukeshwaran Hindu Temple, all after the demining of the respective areas.
Minister discussed about the possibilities of sending Sri Lanka’s de mining expertise personal and machinery for the use of other countries in the UN demining programs.
Representatives of the UN agencies, donor agencies, US, Japan, Norway, Australian, Switzerland embassies, local and international demining organisation and Sri Lankan Government agencies participated in the discussion and reviewed the progress made up to the last month. Decision was taken to continue the work of the National Mine Action Program till December 2013 at this meeting.