News ≫ U.S. and Sri Lanka partners in demining

U.S. and Sri Lanka partners in demining

Nov 11, 2015
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The U.S. Navy recently concluded a two-week training session in Trincomalee to equip and support Sri Lanka’s underwater demining efforts.
Working with side-scan sonars and robots donated by the U.S. Navy, the Sri Lankan Navy enhanced its ability to search, locate, and provide information on any unknown items underwater, including unexploded ordnance from the conflict in Trincomalee Harbor.
“The United States is committed to aiding demining efforts across Sri Lanka, whether on land or at sea,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap. “By removing these remnants of war, we are helping to ensure Sri Lankans can live and work more safely. This effort also increases the ability for the port of Trincomalee to expand its commercial operations.”
This recent exercise is part of continuing U.S. assistance for demining efforts across the country. From 1995 to 2014 the U.S. has invested more than $46 million to fund mine clearance, survey projects, mine risk education, and national capacity building.
In his October 8 meeting with the Honorable D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, Ambassador Keshap announced an additional $1.745 million in support of demining activities in Sri Lanka.
U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka’s demining efforts have also included the transfer of safety and field equipment, surveys on mine contamination for detection and land release, and mine-clearing operations. The United States is also leading efforts to boost Sri Lanka’s own demining capacity through training for mine disposal units in the Sri Lankan military, including the Mine Detection Dog and underwater demining programs.
Sri Lanka’s northern Puthukudiyruppu District was one of the worst hit areas during Sri Lanka decades-long civil war.

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