US lends remote-controlled de-mining machine

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 July 2005, 10:28 GMT]
Government of the United States has lent Sri Lankan de-miners a "remotely operated, self-propelled brush-clearing machine," that will "eliminate the risk of horrible injury when teams go out to clear some of the thousands of mines still active in the country," said a US embassy press release issued in Colombo Thursday. "Three American trainers from the U.S. Army are in Vavuniya to conduct the training," the release further said.

Full text of the press release follows:

Acres of Land to be Returned to Safe and Productive Use Through High-Tech Remote Control De-Mining Machine from United States

Mining machineColombo, July 7, 2005: Sri Lanka's courageous de-mining teams now have a state of the art machine that will eliminate the risk of horrible injury when teams go out to clear some of the thousands of mines still active in the country. Thanks to a loan from the United States, Sri Lanka's de-miners are now being trained to use a remote-controlled mechanical de-mining machine that will clear brush without exposing de-miners to potential explosions. Three American trainers from the U.S. Army are in Vavuniya to conduct the training. Three Sri Lankan Army Officers and twelve soldiers from the 1 and 6 Field Engineer regiments in Jaffna as well as the 5 and 7 Field Engineer regiments in the East are learning to use the MAXX Plus.

The MAXX Plus is a remotely operated, self-propelled brush-clearing machine. A large brush cutting head at the end of a long mechanical arm removes heavy undergrowth and tripwires, improving the safety and exponentially increasing the productivity of humanitarian de-miners. Once the vegetation has been cleared the land can be scoured by dog teams or manually.

Returning land to safe and productive use in one of the many benefits of the peace process; the United States is committed to assisting Sri Lanka in the removal of the threat of landmines. Humanitarian de-miners have cleared 22 million square meters since the Cease Fire Agreement.


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