Colombo (Agenzia Fides) - Seven years after the end of a long civil conflict which lasted 26 years, Sri Lanka has agreed to join the Treaty to ban anti-personnel mines, also known as the "Ottawa Convention". The northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, the theater of conflict, have been severely affected, strewn with mines and explosives. Some agencies involved in mine clearance are still working in Sri Lanka.
By joining the Convention, Sri Lanka agrees to destroy all anti-personnel mines it owns or which are under its jurisdiction or control, within four years. According to the latest data, 162 States have adhered to the Convention to date.
"We welcome this move as a first step to meet those who have suffered war and violence", says a note from the Jesuit Refugee Service - Asia (JRS) sent to Fides. The JRS recognizes and appreciates the decision of the Government in Sri Lanka and calls on the government to "actively cooperate with those engaged in humanitarian work, as well as in the promotion of human rights, national reconciliation and reconstruction. This will help to pave the way for national unity, integration , development and peace based on justice and equity". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 08/06/2016)