Canada Supports Sri Lanka's Peace-Building Efforts

Dec 18, 2015, 13:10 ET from MAG

MANCHESTER, England, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Canadian Government continues to support efforts to rid the country of landmines in villages ravaged by years of Sri Lankan civil war. An effort with an end in sight.

The Government is providing CAD$850,000 in 2015-2016 to MAG to keep thousands of men, women and children safe from the mines and unexploded bombs that continue to litter the land six years after the end of the country's long conflict.

Speaking from a minefield in the northern district of Mannar today, the High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and Maldives, H.E. Shelley Whiting said: "The demining activities that we had the honour of seeing today underscored for me the critical importance of demining work in Sri Lanka."

With continued international support, MAG anticipates that the entire country can be free from the impact of mines by 2020. Speaking today, MAG Sri Lanka Country Director Alistair Moir said: "Sri Lanka remains a country where MAG removes a staggering amount of landmines. Each one that is removed brings greater safety and less fear for families who'd been living with the daily threat of death and injury. Safe land means people can move around freely and use farmland, which has such a sustained and positive impact on their lives and livelihoods.

"This is the tangible nature of our work, and we very much look forward to the Government of Sri Lanka declaring a status of 'mine impact free' before 2020. Canadian funds have been and remain vital in achieving this."

During 2015, MAG removed 8,776 landmines and unexploded bombs in Sri Lanka. In addition, more than 25 million square metres of land has been released in 2015, enabling thousands of people to rebuild their lives.

High Commissioner Whiting added: "The devastating impact of landmines on civilians is without question. It is my hope that the considerable work undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka with the support of partners such as Canada, will save lives, facilitate returns and lead to eventual accession by Sri Lanka of relevant international treaties aimed at bringing an end to the use of these indiscriminate weapons."

Read the full press release here: http://www.maginternational.org/mag/en/media-centre/canada-supports-sri-lankas-peacebuilding-efforts/

Media Contact: Mike Fryer, Tel 44 797 934 3969, info@maginternational.org

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