NPC holds workshop on de-mining in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 April 2004, 14:16 GMT]
"De-mining work in the northeast province has been severely hampered as the international aid agencies show reluctance to provide funds for such work due to the failure to sign the Ottawa convention that prohibits the use of landmines and other related explosives by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)," said a Director of the National Peace Council (NPC), Mr.S. Balakrishnan, addressing a de-mining workshop in Jaffna Friday.

The workshop was organized by the NPC in collaboration with the de-mining groups of Norway and Britain. Several representatives of de-mining groups working in the northeast participated in the workshop, held in the office of the Jaffna District Chamber of Commerce, sources said.

The main objective of the workshop was to ensure the de-mining to go forward simultaneously with the peace process and to provide landmine free areas for the internally displaced to resettle, NPC sources said.

Mr. Balakrishnan further said another objective of the workshop was to create awareness among the people of the danger of landmines and to strengthen and co-ordinate the activities between various de-mining groups that were currently engaged in de-mining works.

He revealed that the parties concerned have not furnished correct information and maps for de-mining. The maps submitted already were unsatisfactory as those were without the required information. However, action had been taken to expedite de-mining works. De-mining programmes were being implemented giving priority to areas where IDPs could be resettled.


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