Norwegian FM sees mine menace in Iyakkachchi
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 May 2003, 00:20 GMT]
Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Jan Peterson, who visited Kilinochchi Thursday to meet the leader of the Liberation Tigers, held discussions with senior officials of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) about issues hindering the restoration of normalcy in the war torn northeast. Following the brief meeting with TRO officials, the Norwegian FM and his deputy along with diplomats accompanying them visited places in Iyakkachchi a mine infested region in Jaffna’s southern sector held by the LTTE.
The Humanitarian De-mining Unit (HDU) of the TRO says that projects to de-mine vast areas where internally displaced people want to resettle remain cash strapped despite six rounds of talks with Colombo aimed principally at addressing such urgent issues affecting life in the northeast.
The head of the TRO, Mr. S. Reggie, its Project Co-ordinator, Mr. Lawrence Thilagar, the head of the HDU, Mr. Yogan and the LTTE’s economics advisor, Dr. Jay Maheswaran accompanied the Norwegian government team to Iyakkachchi.
The Norwegian FM and his colleagues were shown work in progress by the HDU sectors of Iyakkachchi infested with mines and UXOs.
The HDU said that due the lack of progress on setting up appropriate mechanisms for channelling funds to rehabilitate the northeast, it is unable to meet the pressing demands from thousands IDPs who want to resettle in their mine infested villages.
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