This increased funding will provide vital additional mine clearance capacity in Mannar and Vavuniya, two critical mine-affected provinces. It will allow many families to return to their land, re-establish their lives and enhance income-earning opportunities. Australia has been one of the largest contributors to demining in Sri Lanka, contributing AUD 20 million (around LKR 2 billion) since 2009. (Colombo Gazette) Australia is to increase support for humanitarian demining efforts in Sri Lanka, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said today.Australia will provide AUD 1 million (more than 124 million LKR) in assistance over the next two years through a partnership with the Mine Action Group (MAG) and Sri Lankan organisation Devlon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH).
After two days of talks with officials from Baghdad in the Austrian capital, Mr. Annan will head to Durban, South Africa, “where he will attend the Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU)” on 8 and 9 July, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York. The Secretary-General will then begin his official visits to Nigeria and the Sudan, arriving in Abuja on 10 July and Khartoum two days later before returning to New York on 14 July. While in Vienna at the outset of his trip, Mr. Annan will build on previous rounds of talks held with senior Iraqi officials in New York on 7 March and from 1 to 3 May. Those talks aim to foster Iraq’s compliance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including the return of UN weapons inspectors to the country.