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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Sri Lanka commemorates Mine Ban Treaty

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Colombo, 15 September, ( The Landmine Ban Advocacy Forum (LBAF) marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty, prohibiting the use of anti-personnel mines. It is ten years since the historic proceedings in Ottawa, Canada, when 125 countries committed to ban the use, production, stock pile, trade and transfer of anti-personnel mines within their borders. The Mine Ban Treaty is unprecedented both in its scope, in its absolute condemnation of the anti-personnel mine as a weapon of war, and in the speed with which it became binding under international law, a scarce fifteen months after it opened for signature.

Today, 155 nations, representing a majority of the world community have ratified or acceded the Mine Ban Treaty. While Sri Lanka has declared its support in principle for the humanitarian intent of the Mine Ban Treaty, it is among the 40 countries which are yet to ratify or accede.

Lanka Anti-personnel landmines are among the most enduring and a dangerous legacy Sri Lanka recognize and commends the progress achieved by the Government, with the support of history of conflict. An estimated 1.5 million anti-personnel mines across the changing battlefields of the North and East still endanger lives and pose a barrier to reconstruction and development.

As in other countries, far more ordinary people on the sidelines of the conflict than actual combatants have lost life and limb due to anti-personnel mines in Sri Lanka. LBA the international agencies, in addressing the humanitarian and development constraints caused by the use of anti-personnel mines, through mine clearance, awareness raising among vulnerable communities and helping survivors rebuild their lives.

“We call upon the Government and LTTE to renounce the use of Anti-Personnel mines and accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and sign Geneva Call Deed of Commitment. A commitment of such intensity at the present moment would send a particularly strong message to all Sri Lankans. It would bring about a win-win situation for all concerned, including those who have the genuine interests of the people at heart,” appealed a spokesman for the LBA.

- Asian Tribune -

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