Sri Lanka aims to be mine free by 2020

Sri Lanka aims to be mine free by 2020

Colombo, June 11 ( – Sri Lanka is making steady progress towards the goal of mine free status and remains hopeful of completing mine action by 2020, the government information department, quoting Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, A.L.A. Azeez said Monday.

Speaking at the ‘Individualized Approach’ Forum in Geneva, Ambassador Azeez said that following the end of the country’s 30 year civil conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, Sri Lanka had engaged in de-mining activity which had its own uniqueness and complexity.

Azeez said Sri Lanka had put in tremendous efforts towards de-mining work that was done on ground, paving way for the release of lands and resettlement of affected persons.

He added while Sri Lanka makes steady progress towards the goal of mine free status by 2020, the island country would also be able to share its knowledge and expertise with others who are engaged in mine action program in different regions.

Following the end of the island’s conflict, 2,064 acres of land in the country, mostly in the north and east, had to be cleared from landmines and explosives which had been buried by the rebels.

As of the beginning of 2017, the army, together with de-mining agencies, had cleared 2,000 acres of land, vowing to complete the entire de-mining by 2020.

Thousands of minority Tamils who had been displaced by the war have already been re-settled back in the cleared areas with the help of de-mining agencies.

The government of President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to re-settle all the families affected by the war in the coming years and has already launched a national mine action programme to make the country mine free.