Demining in Jaffna peninsula likely to stall

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 July 2008, 18:34 GMT]
Danish Demining Organization and Halo Trust, the two humanitarian organizations engaged in demining projects in Jaffna peninsula, have decided to reduce the number of employees owing to cutback on funding by International Organizations, according to an official of the Demining Coordinating department in Jaffna Secretariat.

Nearly 600 persons are presently employed by Danish Demining Organization and Halo Trust.

Several employees of these two organizations had opted either to vacate their posts or to leave the peninsula in the past due to the killings, abductions and forced disappearances let loose on them.

Though the two organizations have replaced the vacancies with new workers, many of the new employees have been sent home due to lack of funds.

Most of the demining work in identified areas in the peninsula is almost completed and this too has necessitated the reduction of the number of demining personnel by the two demining organizations.

The areas that remain to be demined include Valikaamam North, Thenmaraadchi South and West and those beyond Kodikaamam and Va’ra’ni.

Demining these areas are not feasible in the present situation, as they fall within the High Security Zone (HSZ) of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), an official of the Jaffna Secretariat Demining Coordinating department said.

Demining work is now in progress in the Kayts and Karampan in the islets of Jaffna besides Vallaive’li and Karaveddi in Vadamaraadchi and certain areas of Thenmaraadchi.

When demining these areas are completed the demining activities in Jaffna peninsula are likely to stall, according to Secretariat sources.


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