Blow to demining efforts in Sri Lanka: NPA pulls out
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2008, 11:01 GMT]
"We have given up," said the General Secretary of the Norwegian Peoples Aid, Petter Eide, on the organisations decision to pull out from Sri Lanka. Stating that the NPA was blackmailed and harassed by the Sri Lankan authorities, he said: "We don't want to be there [in Sri Lanka]. We have decided to pull out because the authorities have made our work impossible," reported NTB, Norway's leading news agency on Monday. The organisation celebrates the success on cluster-bomb-ban-treaty to be signed in Oslo on Wednesday.
The NPA in Sri Lanka has suffered for a long time due to a systematic smear campaign by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence, which has gained an upper hand in civil and political affairs of the island.
NPA Mine Action was engaged in Mine Clearance Programme which was conducted in the North and North East of Sri Lanka. The project has been funded by a combination of International Donors, mainly the Norwegian Government and the Japanese Government.
Majority of operations were conducted from Ki'linochchi where funding and support was given to the Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU).
The Programme has also supported the Sri Lankan Army Humanitarian Mine Action Mini-Flail clearance machine, and has given technical support and funding to other Demining Agencies operating in Sri Lanka, according to the NPA.
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) is one of Norway's largest non-governmental organisations, founded in 1939 by the Norwegian labour movement. "Based upon the principles of solidarity, unity, human dignity, peace and freedom, NPA is involved in more than 400 projects in 30 countries," according to the website of the NGO.
"Internationally, NPA has provided humanitarian and political support to help people fight for freedom and justice."