HDU to start demining in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 November 2003, 00:01 GMT]
The Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU) has announced that it will start demining in the Batticaloa district on November 29, and the HDU has already begun initial preparations and surveys to concentrate on demining the Palaiyadivaddai village for mines and booby traps in the first stage, sources said.

Forty-five deminers recently trained by the HDU are encamped in the village and are involved in the preparations. The Palaiyadivaddai village is located in the LTTE-controlled area of Batticaloa district, in the Vellaveli secretariat division.

There was a Sri Lanka Army camp in the village for a long time, but it was attacked by the LTTE during the war, and as the SLA withdrew, it left a large number of land mines and booby traps buried.

The danger of mines has caused the shelving of plans for the construction of a central dispensary in the area. Civil officials hope that the demining will lead to the construction of the dispensary.

Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) is assisting the HDU in its demining efforts.

Recently, two youths (brothers) from the Vellaveli area were admitted at the Batticaloa hospital with serious injuries sustained in a booby trap explosion.

About 37 villages in the Batticaloa district have been identified as in need of demining, and resettlement in these villages has been delayed until the villages are cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances.


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