Villages in need of demining identified

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 August 2003, 03:00 GMT]
Mr. R. S. Jeyabalan, the national executive director of the demining group FSD (Swiss Demining Federation), said Wednesday that 59 villages in the Vavuniya and Mannar districts have been identified as infested with land mines and booby traps and in need of demining.

According to Mr. Jeyabalan, in the areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Mannar district, an area of 37, 214 square metres in the Periyamadu, Thadchanamaruthamadu, Eechilavaddai and Adampan villages, has been cleared of mines and booby traps.

The area has been declared safe to resettle after 1143 land mines, 325 booby traps and one anti-tank mine had been removed from the area, and so far 664 families have been resettled in the 19 villages in the area, sources said.

25 de-miners from the Humanitarian Demining Unit are jointly working with the FSD in LTTE–controlled areas in Mannar. The explosives and unexploded ordnances will be destroyed in the first week of September in the Nayattu area, Mr. Jeyabalan said.

He added that the hospital and the divisional secretariat in the Adampan area have been demined and handed over to the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization, which is actively engaged in rehabilitation work in the area.

In the Vavuniya district, in Omanthai, Arasamurippu and Vepankulam, the areas that need to be demined have been identified and marked by security fences, said Mr. Jeyabalan. In a heavily mined area of 11,929 square metres, deminers have unearthed 178 unexploded motors and shells, and 28 land mines.

In the Talaimannar area, in an area of 8150 square metres, 1551 land mines, 10 claymore mines, and 11 explosive triggering devices have been unearthed.

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