In addition to the $6.6 million the U.S. has recently contributed toward de-mining activities in Northern Province of Sri Lanaka, the United States Pacific Command is providing training and equipment to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) valued to be over $100,000.
De-mining plays a major role in resettling internally displaced people in the northern province due to the country’s struggle with separatist terrorists during last three decades. Vast areas need to be cleared of mines before people could return home. Terrorists during their retreat, mined vast areas and destroyed the infrastructure.
Sri Lanka is very appreciative of the aid from United States to clear up this menace that can kill, maim children who take mines to be play things or farmers plouging their fields to further their livelihood.
While many organizations like Amnesty International and ICG (The International Crisis Generation Company) harp about theoretical betterment of the same people by blocking aid and trade to Sri Lanka. They voice a lot about resettlement of IDP but fail to see or ignore the underlying needs. The United States of America is actually providing much needed help without much fanfare.
This training will build additional SLA capacity to clear mines in the Northern Province and expedite the safe return of displaced people to their homes and livelihoods.
The U.S. also donated personal protection equipment (vest and visors) and de-miner equipment (de-miner tool set and mine lab F3 detectors). The equipment provided will remain in the SLSME to train future SLA personnel for de-mining efforts in Sri Lanka and future UN peacekeeping operations.
Thank you, United States of America.