You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Sri Lanka asked to enter mines ban treaty

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

It will take 15 more years to de-mine Sri Lanka's war-battered North and East regions, a group campaigning to ban anti-personal mines in the country said today while criticising the government for not acceding to the Ottawa Convention.

"The de-mining work has slowed down over the years. At its current pace it will take around 15 years to complete the de-mining in the remaining 44 square kilometers," Vidya Abhayagunawardena, the national co-ordinator of Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines (SLCBL) said.

After seven years of end of war with the LTTE, Sri Lanka remains the only country in the world to maintain that it's military installations should continue to be protected with landmines, he said.

He said that the government inaction on accession to the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) (known as Ottawa Convention) and Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) will seriously undermine ongoing reconciliation in the country.

"This will be particularly important when the government has declared a week of national reconciliation in January. Today there are over 160 state parties to the MBT and around 120 state parties to the CCM," he said.

In March this year, the Cabinet had decided to accede to the MBT but no action was taken due to opposition within the government as it had been pointed out that the military bases should be protected by landmines.

"During the war and the last stage of the war in Sri Lanka, landmines never helped any party to win the war. Now we can see that post-war Sri Lanka's mine causalities 99.9 per cent are civilians particularly children and women," Abhayagunawardena said.

"There is no connection to reconciliation and our not becoming a party to the MBT," Karunasena Hettiarachchi, a top official of defence ministry said.

Sri Lanka would enter it after alternate arrangements are put in place to secure the military camps, Hettiarachchi said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, December 27 2016. 16:42 IST