Sri Lanka declares first district safe from landmines

The first of Sri Lanka’s mine-affected districts has been declared safe from landmines.

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG


In the wake of the country’s devastating civil war, which ended in 2009, Batticaloa in the east of the country, is the first district to be declared safe from landmines.

This milestone was marked by a ceremony on 21st June 2017 overlooking Batticaloa Fort, attended by representatives from the Government of Sri Lanka, the US Embassy, the British High Commission, the Canadian High Commission, the Australian High Commission and the Japanese Embassy. It is an important step on the road to achieving a Landmine Free 2025. 

In the last ten months alone, MAG has cleared over 246,200 square metres of land in Batticaloa District, destroying more than 400 landmines and benefitting over 4,400 people. 

Alistair Moir, MAG Country Director, Sri Lanka, said:

"MAG is extremely proud to assist Sri Lanka in removing these indiscriminate weapons which continue to hinder wider development activities taking place long after the end of hostilities. Last year alone MAG cleared more than 10,000 landmines in Sri Lanka – each of which could have taken a life."

“Enabling people to lead normal lives free from the fear of the legacies of war is crucial to turning lives and livelihoods around. We are working hard in Sri Lanka and across the world to make Landmine Free 2025 a reality."

Photo: Sean Sutton/MAG


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