- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:12
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United Nation's Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subine Nandy said that Sri Lanka has achieved excellent results in its demining programme and country can complete demining process very soon in continuing the present institutional setup and machinery.
The UN official made these comments participating in the progress review meeting of the National Mine Action Programme of Sri Lanka which was held at the Ministry of Economic Development on Tuesday (14) under the patronage of the Minister of Economic Development Mr. Basil Rajapaksa,
Mr. 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. He said that the Center was able to bring together donors, demining organizations, government institutions and people employed under this programme and well manage all the process. The works carried out by the Ministry and centre in this humanitarian movement, he said, is tremendous and now Sri Lanka can share its demining experience with other countries.
Minister Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that the progress made by the country in de-mining had helped to expedite the reconstruction and resettlement works and initiate numerous development programmes in the conflict affected areas. He said that initially 2061 Square Kilometers were confirmed as hazardous areas contaminated with mines, booby traps including IDS and other explosive. Up to now 1943 square Kilometers were cleared and only 118 square Kilo meters remain to be cleared. As a result, he said that it was possible to start resettlement in all the five districts in the 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 also 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 programmes.
Representatives of the UN agencies, donor agencies, US, Japan, Norway, Australian, Switzerland embassies, local and international demining organization 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
Programme till December 2013.