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Top US de-mining official visits Sri Lanka

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Walter D Givhan, a deputy US Assistant Secretary of State specialising in de-mining activities held meetings in the capital and visited Kilinochchi and Vavuniya in the north.

The US has provided over USD 34.5 million to aid Sri Lanka's de-mining activities since 1993.

Mines are a major problem in Sri Lanka with UN agencies identifying a vast area of 124.7 sq kms in the North and East to be strewn with deadly booby traps, landmines and other deadly explosives.

These areas lie in 10 districts in the North and East - Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullativu, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, and Vavuniya.

In the course of his visit, Givhan met Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Army Commander General Jagath Jayasuriya and Navy Commander Vice Admiral D W A S Dissanayake to discuss the military bilateral relationship and support towards de-mining, the embassy added.

Since the end of the armed conflict in May 2009, 101,827 hectares of paddy land, 29,999 hectares of water bodies, 538 km A class roads, over 1,500 km of other roads and 263 km of railway lines have been cleared of landmine, the government said.



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First Published: Wed, May 02 2012. 18:05 IST