Halo Trust to terminate operation in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2008, 15:21 GMT]
Halo Trust, one of the major humanitarian demining organizations based in Jaffna peninsula, will terminate its operation completely Friday following Sri Lanka Defence Ministry denial of access to land mine sown areas in the peninsula. Danish Demining Organization, the other important humanitarian organization in the peninsula, has reduced its staff of 286 to 180, sources in Jaffna said.
Halo Trust, however, had kept a few staffers in service to maintain and administer the vehicles and accessories used in demining, worth billions rupees, Halo Trust officials said.
Plans are being considered to send these vehicles and equipment for demining work in countries like Afghanistan.
If the situation in Jaffna peninsula returns to normalcy, and if it is possible to engage in demining again, Halo Trust may consider keeping its vehicles and accessories in the peninsula, Halo Trust officials said.
The foreign officials who had been serving as chiefs of the Danish Demining Organization in Trincomalee and Jaffna are scheduled to leave Sri Lanka Friday.
Three foreign applicants have applied for the above posts vacated and they will be appointed only if it is possible to engage in demining in Jaffna peninsula, sources close to the organization said.
Most of the demining activities will terminate by the end of December and future projects are to be decided on in the first two weeks of January 2009.
Countries involved in demining activities appear to have lost interest as mines are being again sown in warfronts in the peninsula.