* Japan provides Rs. 128 million to support humanitarian demining activities in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka
Tue, Feb 8, 2022, 08:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Feb 08, Colombo: The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US$ 647,611 (approx. Rs. 128 million) to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for humanitarian demining activities in the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Japan in Colombo said.
Ambassador of Japan Mizukoshi Hideaki, , and Ms. Cristy McLennan, Country Director of MAG signed the grant contract on the 1st February 2022. Due to the current prevailing Covid-19 situation, the contract was signed remotely.
MAG commenced operations in Sri Lanka in 2002 with approximately 20% of its clearance activities accomplished through Japanese assistance. Since 2009 when precise data was made available, MAG has released the total of 98km2 of suspected contaminated land in the country.
It is expected that this FY’s project would contribute to facilitating the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to make mine contaminated areas safe lands for internally displaced people and enhancing directly or indirectly 7,374 people’s livelihoods in Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee Districts.
This year, MAG marks 20th anniversary of launching the demining activities in Sri Lanka. As the country moves towards “mine impact-free” in the coming years, MAG is engaging with not only demining activities but also the livelihood of demining staff by addressing the socio-economic needs, skills gaps and opportunities for them. Japan would like to sincerely appreciate the devotion and perseverance of the staff at MAG towards this valuable exercise.
Since the beginning of Sri Lanka Mine Action program, Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance in Sri Lanka, assisting all the four demining NGOs currently operating in Sri Lanka. More than US$ 40.8 million in assistance was rendered towards this cause through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
Furthermore, this year also marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries and we are in the midst of cerebrating this great milestone. Japan is convinced that these demining projects are one of iconic symbols of “Sri Lanka and Japan” friendship.
The Government of Sri Lanka aims to achieve “a mine impact free Sri Lanka” within a few years and to become the next mine impact free country in the world. Through this project, the Government of Japan endeavors to ensure that Sri Lanka is safe for all.