The Japanese Government has extended an additional US$ 737,575 (approximately Rs. 96 million) grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North through Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony Sri Lanka (DASH), a Sri Lankan Mine Action NGO, to expedite the efforts of the Government to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka.
Since 2003, the Government of Japan has provided a sum of US$ 23 million (approximately Rs. 3 billion) for demining activities in the North and the East under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
During the Japan-funded programme DASH has cleared/released nearly 2 million square meters of land and the number of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) recovered and destroyed in the process has been more than 2,000.
This new project will enable DASH to continue its assistance by way of clearing agricultural lands, access roads to fishing areas and other essential facilities as well as new areas for development; in order to ensure the safe reestablishment of sustainable economy for the returnees; an essential requirement for the peace-building process.
In addition to demining assistance, the Government of Japan has extended assistance for development in the North through projects such as improvement of central facilities of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, construction of Vavuniya-Killinochchi Transmission Line, and urgent rehabilitation of resettled communities in Jaffna and Mannar districts. Japan hopes that these assistance would holistically contribute to sustainable peace and development in Sri Lanka and promote the livelihood of the people.
Japan and Sri Lanka celebrate the 60th anniversary of its diplomatic relations this year. During the last six decades, Japan and Sri Lanka have maintained strong mutual partnership. Japan has been a strong partner in Sri Lanka’s social and economic development, in the form of grants, Yen loans and technical cooperation mainly through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as the Grassroots and Human Security Grant Aid through the Embassy of Japan.