Aug 09, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has unearthed over eight hundred thousand mines and improvised explosive devices from the island’s former war zone since the thirty year conflict ended in 2009, a top government official said. Secretary to the ministry of Defence and urban development Gotabaya Rajapaksa told an international defence conference in Colombo that de-mining teams had extracted over 400,000 anti personnel mines, 1399 anti tank mines and 333,963 unexploded ordnance devices from the north and east of the island.
“The scale of the problem the government faced in demining can be clearly seen from the number of mines and other devices unearthed and neutralized during the de-mining process,” Rajapaksa said.
De-mining is a high risk, time consuming and costly operation which involves skilled manpower and sophisticated equipment.
Most conventional armies have maps and patterns on record which can fast track de-mining but the process gets tedious when mines are indiscriminately laid with no records.
The military says the Tamil Tigers better known as the LTTE were locally manufacturing mines and other improvised devices in small factories deep in the jungles in the former war zone beyond conventional stan