Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D. M. Swaminathan stated that he aimed to make Sri Lanka a nation completely free of land mines by the year 2020.
The Minister affirmed that 26 square km more of the North-Central Province were still pending mine clearance.
He stated this upon attending the occasion where Batticaloa was officially declared free of mine risks.
Out of the total number of land mines buried during the civil war, 1,276,898 have already been removed.
Reports indicate that Rs. 4 billion of Government funds had been spent on demining operations, in addition to the Rs. 10 billion obtained from foreign agencies.
The United States of America (USA), Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, India, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, China and Russia rendered support towards demining efforts, Minister Swaminathan stated.