The occupying Sri Lankan military, which dominates de-mining activities in the former Forward Defence Line areas and in the so-called High Security Zone under its occupation, was not doing the de-mining work according to established norms and procedures, complain humanitarian workers in Jaffna, formerly attached to independent de-mining operations of international NGOs. On Monday, two teenage boys sustained severe injuries, one of them losing his leg, caught in landmine explosion in Ketpali in Thenmaraadchi while they were plucking co-conuts at a palm grove that had been cleared by the SL military. A few days ago, school children at Ki’laali School found unexploded shells from the sand brought inside the school for construction work. The children were saved by the timely intervention of the teachers, the NGO workers further said.
Even the few civil bodies capable of undertaking de-mining with necessary transparency and expert monitoring on their operation are deprived of clearing the HSZ and FDL areas.
The SL military run ‘Humanitarian’ De-mining Units perform their task properly only in areas of commercial occupation, Sinhala colonisation or the expansion of military cantonments.
In the meantime, the Colombo establishment and politicians running NGOs in the name of de-mining keep their eyes only on the money flowing from the Western governments.
On Monday, 19-year-old Sritharan Bernard from Uhayapuram in Kozhumpuththu’rai and 18-year-old Tharmalingam Ramanan from Ketpali – Ki’laali area, sustained severe injuries. Sritharan lost his left leg. Both the victims were rushed to Chavakachcheari hospital and transferred to Jaffna Teaching Hospital Monday night.