Army to deploy more troops to resettle Tamil civilians
Last Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 16:14
Colombo: The Sri Lankan Army plans to deploy 400 more engineering troops to hasten the demining process in Wanni region to enable the early resettlement of displaced Tamil civilians.

"I have already sent 400 engineering troops for demining and I am sending more battalions to be trained in 'humanitarian demining'," Sri Lankan Army chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya told reporters here today.

Jayasuriya who was attending a ceremony at the Armoured Corp headquarters here said the army did not have a "precise" estimate of the number of mines planted by the LTTE during its 35-year-old civil war against the Lankan government.

The troops, however, had come across several mines during the final phase of battle which ended with the killing of rebel supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on May 17 this year.

Jayasuriya, who was appointed in July, said he was also planning to deploy heavy equipment to clear mine-fields in the region where the final battle was fought with the LTTE.

Four international NGOs, that includes deminers from India, are currently involved in clearing operations to enable settlement of more than 2,80,000 people staying at rehabilitation camps in northern Vavuniya district.

The army was also holding discussions for bringing in deminers from Australia, he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 16:14

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