17th March 2019 16:10:40 Hours
The National Mine Action Strategy Plan 2016-2020 for Sri Lanka was officially inducted jointly by the Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training & Skill Development and Youth Affairs during a brief ceremony at Hotel Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo on Thursday (13).
Chief Field Engineer, Major General H.R.K.P Peiris, representing the Commander of the Army and the Sri Lanka Amy Humanitarian Demining Unit (SLA-HDU) received a copy of the official document of the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) which drives the national mine action strategy to free Sri Lanka's soil from landmines. All stakeholders of de-mining agencies operating in Sri Lanka attended the event along with their Programme Managers after which a brief conference on the status quo was reviewed with the participation of members of donor agencies to Sri Lanka's de-mining.
Commander Engineer Brigade, Brigadier A.N Amarasekara also participated in the event, representing the SLA-HDU and the Engineer Brigade.
The Army Engineer Brigade who commands Army de-mining projects in the country aims to free Sri Lanka of minefields by 2020.
Following the outcome of the main conference, a separate workshop to educate all mine workers in Sri Lanka to be in line with the National Mine Action Strategy 2016-2020 got underway on the following day (14) at Hotel Movenpick in collaboration with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining (GICHD).
Ms Asa Massleberg, Advisor, Statistic and Standard Division, GICHD presided the educative workshop.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training & Skills Development and Youth Affairs, Mrs S. Jaladeepan also contributed to the workshop.
The main objectives of this workshop was to discuss matters pertinent to mobilization of resources among stakeholders of de-mining in Sri Lanka, SLA-HDU, MAG, HALO Trust, DASH, SHARP and Regional Mine Action Office Kilinochchi effectively, based on strategic objectives of National Mining Strategic Plan 2016 to 2020.
During this workshop, emphasis was on key thrust area of the mine action program, set out with the strategy plan for de-mining, Mine Risk Education (MRE), victim assistance, advocacy, stockpile and destruction. The Commander, Engineer Brigade, Brigadier A.N Amarasekara conducted a comprehensive presentation on stockpile and destruction which was appreciated by the gathering. He was also invited to be a panelist in the discussions.
SLA-HDU Operational Manger, Lieutenant Colonel C.D Wickramanayake, Field Operation Officer, Major A.J Gunawardana and Global Information System Officer, Captain O.K Wijegoonawardane attended the event on behalf of all de-miners in the Army.