Nearly Rs. 1 bn from US for demining in 2018 | Daily News

Nearly Rs. 1 bn from US for demining in 2018

The US State Department Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper visited Sri Lanka from June 2-5 to discuss security cooperation and assess the progress of US-funded demining programmes.

Assistant Secretary Cooper travelled to the Eastern Province to observe demining operations and meet with project beneficiaries. The projects are part of the nearly Rs. 970 million (US$5.5 million) assistance that the US State Department provided towards Sri Lanka’s demining efforts in 2018, a release from the US Embassy said.

“The United States is proud to partner with Sri Lanka in reaching its goal to become mine-impact free by 2020. Landmine removal is just one aspect of how the US – Sri Lanka security partnership contributes to the safety of all Sri Lankans,” said Assistant Secretary Cooper. “President Trump’s Indo-Pacific Strategy underscores the importance of sovereign nations working together to advance shared interests. We respect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence and look forward to continuing our bilateral cooperation.”

Since 2002, the United States has provided more than Rs. 9.5 billion (US$56 million) to clear explosive hazards in Sri Lanka. US funding advances clearance efforts in nine districts affected by landmine contamination and currently supports more than 650 de-mining jobs across the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

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