Demining officials from US State Department to visit Jaffna, Vavuniya
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 August 2004, 04:14 GMT]
Mr. Richard Kidd, Director of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State, and Colonel Stuart C. Harris, Deputy Director of the same office, are visiting Sri Lanka this week, said American Embassy in Colombo in a Press Release issued on Monday.
Fulltext of the Press Release:HUMANITARIAN DEMINING STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS VISIT SRI LANKA
"Colombo, August 09, 2004. Mr. Richard Kidd, Director of Weapons Removal and Abatement, U.S. Department of State, and Colonel Stuart C. Harris, Deputy Director of the same office, are visiting Sri Lanka this week.
"Mr. Kidd and Colonel Harris will visit Sri Lanka Army demining sites in Jaffna and Vavuniya, where U.S. Department of State Humanitarian Demining Project-funded advisors are providing technical assistance. Mr. Kidd will also meet with a variety of government officials and members of the demining NGO community.
"The goal of the U.S. governments' humanitarian demining assistance program in Sri Lanka is to instruct and equip the Sri Lanka Army to develop capacity to clear mined areas to international humanitarian standards.
"In August 2003, the U. S. Government signed an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka to provide humanitarian demining training and equipment to the Sri Lanka Army. This training program is valued at several million dollars. Conducted by the U.S.-based RONCO Consulting Corporation, the training includes courses for humanitarian demining instructors and in emergency medical instruction. The donation of six mine detecting dogs in June 2004 has added additional capacity to the program. Since the program began, the Sri Lanka Army regiments tasked with humanitarian demining have cleared several hundred thousand square meters of land, and removed and destroyed several hundred mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO)."