Sri Lanka to draft new laws to implement Ottawa Convention

Sri Lanka is to draft new laws to implement the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.

Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms Thalatha Atukorala to advice the Legal Draftsman to drat legislations enabling the provisions of the convention in Sri Lanka.

Commonly known as the Ottawa Treaty, the Convention was concluded by the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo, Norway on 18th September 1997. There are currently 163 State Parties to the Treaty

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka last year deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Ottawa Treaty at the Treaty Section of the United Nations in New York.

This month the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention came into effect for Sri Lanka as of 1 June 2018.

As of this date and in accordance with treaty provisions, Sri Lanka undertook to “never, under any circumstances, use, produce or transfer anti-personnel mines.” In addition, Sri Lanka has undertaken to destroy its stockpiled mines within the next four years, remove anti-personnel mines from affected areas within the next ten, and committed to assist victims and survivors of these weapons to live on an equal basis with other members of society. (Colombo Gazette)