2006, target date for mine free Jaffna district

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2004, 16:24 GMT]
“All anti-personnel mines buried in the Jaffna peninsula could be completely removed and deactivated by the end of the year 2006 if the current peace environment continued and the financial assistance promised by the international community is disbursed as scheduled”, said Mr. Tim Horner, Consultant to the Jaffna District Mine Action Operational Headquarters addressing a press conference Thursday.

Jaffna Demining
Messrs Tim Horner, Elmo Anandaraja in the press briefing.


The conference was held at the Jaffna District Mine Action Office. The journalists were provided information on the work now being taken forward to remove and deactivate anti-personnel mines from the peninsula, sources said.

Already about 200 army experts trained by American organization “RONCO” are removing mines in the high security zone in Thenamaradchchi south. In addition, Halo Trust and Danish Demining Groups have been deployed to conduct demining operations in selected residential areas, he said.

Mr. Elmo Anandarajah, Co-ordinator of the office said he estimated about one million anti-personnel mines are buried in the northeast and majority in the Jaffna district. Since 1995 to upto now about 652 mine explosions have taken place resulting in several deaths.

The Sri Lanka Army has provided maps and other details regarding about 3000 sites where the army had buried anti-personnel mines. However first priority in demining is given to places such as schools, markets and public places, Mr.Anandarajah said.
Jaffna Demining
A well closed on suspicion where antipersonnel or unexploded explosives could be buried is seen with a warning board


Journalists were taken to Katkovalam and were shown places where demining operations are in progress, sources said.

The Danish Demining Group has been working in Katkovalam, which is located about three km from Point Pedro for the last four months. It is reported that about eight thousand square meter area has been de-mined and residents have been allowed to resettle in these areas.

Forty two locally trained persons have been deployed in demining operation in his area, said Mr. Samuel Paunila, who is the Technical Consultant of the Jaffna District Mine Action Office.


Jaffna Demining
Messrs Tim Horner and Samuel Paunil addressing press conference.


Jaffna Demining
Mine clearing is in progress at Katkovalam

 

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