Mar 02, 2021

Japan further backs demining in Northern Sri Lanka

The Government of Japan provided a total sum of US$ 636,363 (approx. Rs. 120 million) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) to Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) for humanitarian demining activities in Northern Sri Lanka.

The grant contract was signed on 2nd March 2021 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Ambassador of Japan - Mr. Sugiyama Akira, and programme manager of DASH - Mr. Ananda Chandrasiri.

The Government of Sri Lanka aims to achieve “A Mine Impact Free Sri Lanka” within a few years and become the next mine impact free country in the world. Towards this endeavor, Japan has been a major donor in mine clearance in the country since 2002, currently assisting all the four demining operators in Sri Lanka with aid exceeding US$ 39.5 million disbursed for this purpose.

DASH has cleared more than 14 km2 of mine-contaminated land since 2010, and around 6km2 of this was achieved through the assistance of the Japan’s GGP. The project is expected to contribute to the Government’s efforts of ensuring that mine-contaminated areas are safe, enabling resettlement of more than 2,000 displaced people and enhancing their livelihoods directly or indirectly in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Mr. Chandrasiri stated:

“All Sri Lankans are in enormous appreciation of the invaluable and numerous assistance extended to Sri Lanka by Japan all along their strong and continuous friendship, which has reached nearly 7 decades by now. Japan has been a major supporter of the Sri Lankan mine action programme from its inception, where DASH has been continuously funded by Japan since 2010.

There still remain areas that are contaminated with mines and explosive remnants of war as a result of the country’s three-decade-lasted internal conflict. The clearance undertaken by Japan-funded DASH programme has contributed to infrastructure development of relevant areas, and reestablishment of a sustainable economy for the resettled people.

DASH believes that the most important factor contributing to the Sri Lankan Government-pursued peace building process of the country is assisting the young people, who were directly or indirectly involved in the conflict, for them to have not only a source of income, but most importantly their recognition in society. The funding assistance of Japan has enabled DASH to provide employment to a large number of young and needy people living in the North, strengthening the efforts of the Sri Lankan Government.”