Losing Battle

August 11, 2007 (LBO) – An escalating conflict in Sri Lanka has hindered plans to rid the country of anti-personnel mines, with both the government and the LTTE reluctant to give up use of the weapon. “Personally I don™t believe we can clear all the remaining mines by 2008, but we are planning to complete all the high and medium priority areas.”

Lanka Business Report Newsdesk An anti-personnel landmine is a type of mine which is placed on or in the ground and explodes when triggered by a vehicle or person.

Over 1600 de-miners are working to rid the country of anti personnel mines by 2008 – a target that™s likely to be missed because of the escalation in Sri Lanka™s ethnic conflict.

“I™m afraid we are far, far away from that goal,” Bradman Weerakoon, former chairman of the steering committee for the national mine action plan says.

“I don™t know how many mines were got off the ground and destroyed but there are hundreds of thousands of mines possibly in the ground yet.”

Ridding the country™s battlefields in the North and East of mines could take years, even if the 24 year old war in Sri Lanka ends soon.

Activists however are urging the government to a