Lanka to sign landmine banning convention



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Minister Swaminathan addressing workshop


The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan would submit a joint Cabinet Paper with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs next week on signing the Ottawa Convention on banning land mines, a workshop was told early this week.


The workshop on resource mobilization for mine action programme in Sri Lanka organised by the National Mine Action Centre, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs in collaboration with Geneva International Centre for humanitarian demining was held at Renuka Hotel Colombo on Tuesday (26).


Minister Swaminathan gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest made the key note address. The Minister insisted that it was the right time to accede and ratify the Ottawa Convention. He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickrameasinghe had said Sri Lanka should be a state party to that convention.


The mine clearance and resettlement were interrelated as livelihood of resettled community was hindered by land mines. Mine action programme in Sri Lanka was one of the priority areas in the present context with the government reconciliation programme, the Minister said.


Swaminathan noted that the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) had prepared a strategic plan for 2016-2020 for mine clearance. According to the strategy the vision of the programme was to create a mine and explosive remnant free Sri Lanka by 2020.


For achieve the target, the minister said, acceding to Ottawa Convention was a prerequisite. In so doing, the country would join the other countries to eradicate the menace particularly from the South Asian Region.


Further, it was important to accelerate the mine action programme and obtain support from the international community.


Sri Lanka by being a state party to the Ottawa Convention might benefit by way of resource mobilisation as well as in image building.


The Minister said that the policy of the government was to welcome all the international agencies to be partners in the post conflict development of Sri Lanka.


At this workshop representatives of the US, the UK, Canada, Swiss, Japan and demining agencies such as Hallo Trust, Mag, Dash, Sharp and Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy Secretary and Additional Secretary Mr. M.M. Nayeemudeen of the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs were also present.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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