US demining team hands over cleared area
[TamilNet, Monday, 21 July 2003, 16:23 GMT]
An area of 72,208 square meters, consisting of residential and agricultural lands in Sarasalai in the central of Thenamaradchchi division in Jaffna district that has been fully demined, was handed over to the Thenmaradchchi Divisional Secretariat by the US de-mining team known as RONCO on Monday, divisional office sources said.
The Thenmaradchchi Divisional Secretary, Mr.B.Balasubramaniam, took charge of the de-mined area from the team leader of RONCO, Mr.Don Smith, at an event held at the Sarasalai Central Community Centre Monday, sources said.
Mr.Don Smith said his team had recovered 321 anti-personal mines and other explosives in the area between March 31 and July 17 this year. The Sarasalai Central Community Centre’s President, Mr.S.Maheswaran, presided over the event.
Meanwhile, RONCO team officials took civilian officials on a tour to show the areas declared mine free, civil sources said.
Ronco team leader Mr. Don Smith
Mr. Don Smith with Jaffna Secretariat officials at the Sarasalai Central Community Centre
Mr. Chellaiah Navaratnam, 49, who lost a leg in a land mine explosion in March 2002 when he came to resettle in Sarasaalai
the well at which Chellaiah lost his leg in an mine explosion