US official inspects demining work

A top U.S official, who has just concluded a visit to Sri Lanka, had inspected demining sites in the north, the U.S Embassy in Colombo said today.

Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of State for Plans, Programs and Operations Walter D. Givhan visited Sri Lanka from April 26 to May 2.

DAS Givhan serves in the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and is responsible for providing executive leadership, management, and guidance for U.S. government global security assistance programs and policies.

While in Sri Lanka, DAS Givhan held meetings in Colombo and visited Kilinochchi and Vavuniya.  In the North he met with various Non-Governmental Organizations to discuss the progress of demining activities in the region.

During his field visits to demining sites, he discussed the challenges facing demining and provided support to the ongoing demining process.

While in Colombo, DAS Givhan met with Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Army Commander General Jagath Jayasuriya and Navy Commander Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake to discuss the military bilateral relationship and support towards demining, the U.S Embassy said.

The U.S. has provided over $34.5million to aid Sri Lanka’s demining activities since 1993. In 2011, the U.S. donated $2.5million for demining, and increased this support to $5million in 2012.

The U.S. Embassy said that the U.S Government will continue to assist Sri Lanka in its demining activities to allow Sri Lankan families to move back to their homes.