Friday, 14 November 2014 - 19:37
SL ready to share its experience in comprehensive demining as a 'best practice' with other countries
Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said Sri Lanka stands ready to share its experience in comprehensive demining as a 'best practice' with countries which are facing similar challenges.
Noting that "Sri Lanka’s continuing progress in demining has been achieved by telescoping what according to some estimates was to take 15 to 20 years, into one of 5 to 7 years duration, he said this was not only a rewarding experience for our people as they now move about freely across the country, but also a positive lesson for other conflict affected countries, where nationally owned and nationally driven programmes could achieve their intended purposes, if the necessary political commitment, resolve and pragmatic vision is put in place".
Ambassador Aryasinha said "the Governmnet of Sri Lanka successfully embarked on a very difficult challenge of demining an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometers of land initially estimated to be contaminated with mines, out of which approximately 2,064 square kilometers were confirmed as hazardous areas.
He said, "75% of this demining work had been allocated to the Sri Lanka Army, which was the largest single area assigned to any of the parties involved in demining and included most of the densely mined regions.
Out of the total confirmed hazardous area, 96.2% has already been cleared and only 78.8 square kilometers of territory remains to be cleared.
It is expected that these areas too will be completely cleared in the near future.