Danish group declares areas in Kanniya, Thiriyai mine free
About 10,000 square meter area in Kanniya and about 8,000 square meter area in Thiriyai in the Trincomalee district have been declared mine free by the Danish Demining Group (DDG), civil society sources in Trincomalee said.
Mr.Magnus Johansson, Technical Advisor of the DDG Wednesday and Thursday handed over "Release of Land Certificates" to the civil authority in these villages.
DDG has its headquarters for the Northeast Province in Jaffna and its Trincomalee district office is located in Kanniya from where it operates a demining programme in the district.
Mr.Magnus Johansson handed over Release of Land Certificate signed by Mr.Tim Horner, Technical Advisor of the Mine Action Office in Vavuniya and Mr.K.G.Leelasena, Government Agent, Trincomalee to Ms K.Wijethasan, Assistant Director of Planning (ADP) in Trincomalee divisional secretariat at an event held at Kanniya Government Tamil School held Thursday evening. Several members of resettled families attended the event.
Kanniya village comes under the administration of the Trincomalee divisional secretariat.
"Peeliyady, Mangayootu and Kanniya, three suburbs of Kanniya village are now free of mines. People can resettle in these areas without fear. We recovered 48 mines buried in these areas," Mr. Magnus Johansson said.
Areas in 6th mile and between two hills in the village where the Indian Peace Keeping Force and later the Sri Lanka Army had camps are to cleared. People have been asked to not to enter these areas until DDG declares mine free, he added.
Ms K.Wijeyathasan, ADP and Mr.V.Chandrakumar, Grama Sevaka Officer also spoke on that occasion.
Later Mr. Magnus Johansson held a demonstration to the resettlers who participated in the event how to detect a mine and to remove it
Land Release Certificate regarding about 8000 square meter area free of mines in Thiriyai village including the land located in close proximity of the government school was handed over to an officer of the Kuchchaveli divisional secretariat Thursday morning.
Mr. Magnus Johansson said about 184 mines were removed from the area. Thiriyai comes under the administration of the Kuchchaveli divisional secretariat.
The entire population of Thiriyai fled to Vanni and other areas in the province when the Sri Lanka Army launched military operation in 1985 and 1990. People in Kanniya village also were displaced to other areas including Vanni following SL military operation.
IDPs have been slowly returning to these two Thiriyai and Kanniya since the signing of he ceasefire agreement by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in 2002. However, the rate of resettlement and development of these villages has been very slow because of mines.
Von: 30 September 2005, http://www.tamilnet.com