Manalkaadu SLA minefield issue before HRC
[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 13:33 GMT]
The Jaffna coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) Mr. R. P Ruwan Chandrasekera told TamilNet that he intends to take up with the Government Agent for Jaffna the issue of the Sri Lanka army laying a new minefield near the village of Manalkaadu on the peninsula’s southeastern coast. He said the people from Manalkaadu had complained to the HRC’s Jaffna office on Tuesday about the new minefield the SLA had planted near their village.
Meanwhile, Manalkaadu residents told TamilNet that the army has permitted them from Thursday to enter the un-mined section of the casuarinas plantation south of the village to chop firewood.
The SLA prohibited villagers from going near the Casuarina plantation from last weekend when it began laying the minefield nearby.
The ‘National Steering Committee for Mine Action’ (NSCMA) of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s office launched the well-publicized ‘Mine Action Media Campaign’ on 4 December 2003, with the target of achieving a mine free Sri Lanka by the end of 2006.
Sri Lanka is one of the 44 countries that have not signed the Ottawa Convention on totally banning the use of landmines in the world.