De-mining will take another nine years - Dinesh

By Saman Indrajith

The ongoing de-mining operations in the Northern and Eastern Provinces would take nine years to complete, Parliament was told on Tuesday (21).

Chief Government Whip Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that since 2002 the government had cleared an area of 5,594.89 square kilometers in the two provinces. Sri Lanka had received the assistance of Switzerland, Denmark, Great Britain and India to carry out de-mining. Several other countries, including the US, Japan and Australia had provided support for the ongoing project.

Minister Gunawardena was responding to a query by the UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake. Asked to reveal the area in square kilometers given to those countries engaged in the de-mining operation, Minister Gunawardena said Switzerland (258.5 square km), Denmark (1336.29 square km), Great Britain (690.59) and India (1273.90 square km).

The Government of Sri Lanka had spent Rs 1,492,810,000/= for demining.

Demining equipment had been donated by the US, China, Australia, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Organisation for Migration, Ministry of Economic Development and office equipments were granted by the United Nations Children’s Fund. Approximately 65 vehicles f different categories had been granted by the United States of America, UNICEF and the Ministry of Economic Development.

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