Sri Lanka has set a record in de-mining by completing demining in human settlement areas within a short period.
Sri Lanka heads the list of countries which had completed demining in areas earmarked for human settlement and farming lands, within the shortest period of time under international standards in the aftermath of the elimination of terrorism, said Ministry of Defence Spokesman and MOD Media Centre Director Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya.
He added that 1.1 million landmines and explosives that were strewn by the LTTE terrorists have been recovered by the Security Forces and other groups that were engaged in the demining program.
Addressing a press conference held at the MOD Media Centre, Kollupitiya, yesterday (April 2), Brigadier Wanigasooriya said Sri Lanka was able to demine areas for human settlement and their farming lands a hundred percent. The demining activities are still in progress while there is only 82 square kilometers to be demined out of the 2,064 square kilometres that was strewn with landmines, claymores, high explosives etc by the LTTE before terrorism was eliminated. The area that has to be demined is in the thick jungles, the Brigadier said.
He added that when demining was completed, such areas were inspected and guaranteed by UNDP officials before lands were handed over to the civilians. He also stated that of the demined lands, more than 70 percent was de-mined by the Security Forces. The rest was de-minded by local and foreign NGOs.
He further said that Sri Lanka could humbly be proud of its success in the demining program within a short period of time as none of the countries have been able to achieve such a degree of success in demining after a conflict was ended.
He added that mines in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia etc have not yet been completely removed, though years after conflict.