Public awareness must for SL to be landmine free - Judge Weeramantry
Sri Lanka can be an example to the world by being a country free of
the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war, said
International Court of Justice former Vice President Justice C.G.
Weeramantry. He was participating in an awareness event on mine and
action at the Foundation Institute Auditorium yesterday.
"Sri Lanka has a good plan to do this. Public awareness is essential
to reach this target. Sri Lanka is in progress towards banning landmines
in the country and its commitment to acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty.
This will guarantee that landmines will not be possessed or used in
future in Sri Lanka," he said.
Judge Weeramantry also said that 'The Ottawa Treaty' or 'Mine Ban
Treaty', formally the convention on the prohibition of the use,
stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on
their destruction, completely bans all anti-personnel landmines.
Economic Development Ministry, National Mine Action Centre Director
Monty Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka will be able to become a mine free
country by 2020.
About 1.3 million landmines remain in the country. After the war, it
was estimated that there were about six million landmines in the
country. Of them, about four million landmines were cleared easily, he
"About 1,912 square kilometers of land in the North and the East have
been cleared of mines at the end of September 2011," Ranatunga said.
He said that de-mining is a time consuming job. "But Sri Lanka made a
remarkable progress compared to other countries," he said.