U.S. Supports Demining Through Cricket Bat Donations
U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison distributed cricket bats to students at the American Corner in Jaffna with the message “Mines Destroy Lives” in Tamil and Sinhala.
The cricket bat distribution ceremony was held on 27 January and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman, joined the ceremony where Ambassador Sison explained to members of the Jaffna Youth Forum that mines and unexploded ordnances should only be handled by professionals.
The United States is the largest international donor to demining activities in Sri Lanka. Since 1993, the U.S. Government has provided over $34.5million to aid Sri Lanka’s demining activities and donated more than $5million to support demining in 2012 alone.
The Embassy will continue to support demining efforts by NGOs and the Sri Lankan Army’s Humanitarian Demining Unit in 2013 and onward, in an effort to ensure no one dies from a mine or unexploded bomb again. The bats were produced by the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs / Weapons Reduction and Abatement (PM/WRA) together with the U.S. Embassy.
The Youth Forum was initiated by the American Corner in Jaffna following a series of theater performances and workshops discussing social issues between students.
The Forum meets regularly at the American Corner for discussions lead by Sri Lankan alumni of U.S. exchange programs. Some Youth Forum members joined their counterparts at the Kandy Youth Forum in October for a campaign to promote environmental awareness to the public of Kandy through street theater and drama.
This project links Tamil and Sinhala students to provide a venue for discussion of routine concerns that often go unaddressed in the post-war environment.
- Asian Tribune -