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Sri Lanka seeks Indian and Pakistani army advice on demining

Indian army officials visited the Sri Lankan army's Security Forces Headquarters in the Vanni region on Wedesday, during a six day tour of the country.

The delegation, leg by Air Commodore P R Navalkar of the Indian Air Force, also called on Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Sri Lankan Army Commander. Bilateral discussions included military training.

India's visit, comes the week after officials from the Pakistan Army visited the country. The Pakistani delegation, consisting of veteran de-mining experts and led by Colonel Zaafir Nisar, reportedly shared their demining expertise with the Sri Lankan army.

The Pakistani delegation visited in Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu, and met Sri Lankan de-miners, as well as their Sri Lankan counterparts, Corps of Engineers.

In August 2009, more than 82 Indian soliders were deployed to assist with the demining effort in the North-East. Then head of the Indian demining effort, Reitred Major General Prem K. Puri of the Indian Army, claimed that it would take three years to clear mines.

Chinese Army officials visited last month, pledging similar training.

Over two years since Sri Lanka proclaimed the end of the war, Tamil civilians have been prohibited to return to their homes by the Sri Lankan government citing the risks of land mines. Meanwhile military and state tourist construction flourishes.


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