Cabinet approves proposal to ratify antipersonal mine ban convention

Sri Lanka has decided to ratify the anti-personnel mine ban convention, also known as the Ottawa Convention.Northern and Eastern provinces in Sri Lanka have been severely affected by landmines and explosives due to the conflict situation which prevailed in the country. According to the latest figures, to date, 162 States have joined the convention and have collectively destroyed a total of over 48 million stockpiled landmines to date. (Colombo Gazette) The Ottawa Convention adopted on Sept. 18, 1997 came into force on March 1, 1999. This landmark humanitarian and disarmament Convention seeks to end the suffering caused by landmines.By joining the convention, each State Party undertakes to destroy all stockpiled anti-personnel mines that it owns or that are under its jurisdiction or control, not later than four years and to clear landmines within 10 years of becoming a State Party. Providing assistance to mine victims and awareness raising also remains important aspects in the Convention. As a result a joint proposal made by MangalaSamaraweera, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and D.M. Swaminathan, the Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, to ratify the anti-personnel mine ban convention to create that background, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. The Government today said that the de-mining process is important for the resettlement of internally displaced persons and threats for the lifestyle and infrastructure development in the area by these explosives should be prevented.

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