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* U.S. Donates Demining Equipment to Sri Lankan Army
Wed, Apr 7, 2010, 07:04 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 07, Colombo: The United States Government recently donated demining equipment to the Sri Lanka Army's School of Military Engineering, a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said.

At a ceremony in Embilipitiya, on April 2, the U.S. Embassy's Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Edward Heartney presented Brigadier General Udaya Nanayakkara and Lieutenant Colonel Rajindra Dias with helmets, vests and visors for students of the School of Military Engineering to use during demining training.

The donation marks the latest contribution by the U.S. to assist the Sri Lankan Government and Military with demining operations in the North. During the past year, the U.S. has donated over 770 million rupees ($6.7 million) for demining activities.

The donation marked the culmination of a joint project between specialists from the U.S. and Sri Lankan militaries. For 10 days, the U.S. team worked alongside Sri Lankan Army Engineering instructors to develop training exercises to improve the safety and effectiveness of mine clearing activities.

"It is a pleasure to be here today to meet some of the people who are currently or will soon be working practically nonstop to clear Northern Sri Lanka of mines so that people can return to their homes safely and as soon as possible," Mr. Heartney said at the ceremony.

During his remarks, Mr. Heartney also highlighted the strong partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka. Citing commercial, military, and educational cooperation, Mr. Heartney said, "We are confident that our broad relationship can continue to remain strong just as it has for decades."

U.S. Embassy's Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Edward Heartney presenting demining equipment to Brigadier General Udaya Nanayakkara.

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