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[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
UN team to remove Jaffna land mines? and last doctor told to quit.

UN team to remove Jaffna land mines?

If the Sri Lankan government grants permission, a team of UN experts on landmine clearing will visit the Jaffna peninsula soon sources in Jaffna said today.

This UN experts group will search and remove the thousands of landmines which continue to plague the people of Jaffna now. This follows a request made by community leaders in the peninsula to a UNDP team which visited the peninsula recently.

But the community leaders who sought UN assistance through the UNDP are not sure, according to sources, whether the Sri Lankan government will permit this exercise as it has not signed the international convention on landmines.

Last doctor told to quit

The sole doctor in the island of Nainathivu Dr. Sangarappillai has been discontinued from service by Sri Lanka's ministry of health. The people of Nainathivu say that there is no indication that a replacement is available.

As the boat service to Kayts is precarious, they say that in emergencies they have no option but to keep the patients until transport is available.

The restrictions placed by the Sri Lankan navy are so harsh that even the ex-Tamil militant groups which have a good relationship with the army are not permitted to stay for more than a few hours when they are rarely granted permission to visit the Nainathivu island.

There are only two RMP (Registered Medical Practitioners) to cater to the medical need of the people of Nedunthivu island.


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