Top US de-mining official visits Sri Lanka
A top level US de-mining expert has toured the battle scarred areas of Sri Lanka to take stock of de-mining activities in the country where deadly booby traps continue to remain a major problem.
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.