Fiji Sun

Sri Lanka aims to be mine free by 2020: Govt

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Sri Lanka is making steady progress towards the mine free status by 2020, the government informatio­n department, quoting Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representa­tive to the United Nations in Geneva, A.L.A. Azeez, said on Monday.

Speaking at the Individual­ized Approach Forum, 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 demining activity which had its own uniqueness and complexity. Mr 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 the resettleme­nt of affected people. He added that 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 other countries engaged in de-mining programme.

Following the end of the island’s conflict, 2064 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, Sri Lankan army together with demining agencies, had cleared 2,000 acres of land, vowing to complete the entire de-mining by 2020.

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