Sri Lanka becomes 163rd nation to accede to landmine ban treaty

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Sri Lanka has become the 163rd nation to accede to the anti-personnel mine ban convention, fulfilling the pledge it made last year to join the international community in supporting the ongoing landmine clearance programme.

Landmine ban treaty

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, typically referred to as the “Ottawa Convention” or “Mine Ban Treaty,” seeks to end the use of anti-personnel landmines (APLs) worldwide.

  • It was opened for signature on December 3, 1997, and it entered into force on March 1, 1999.
  • As of August 2017, 162 states are party to the treaty.  One country, the Marshall Islands, has signed but not ratified it.
  • There are 34 non-signatories, including major powers such as the United States, Russia, and China. Few countries in key regions of tension, namely the Middle East and South Asia, have opted to participate.
  • Some of the countries that suffer the most from the humanitarian impacts of landmines include Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Chad, and Iraq

By joining the Convention each state undertakes to destroy all stockpiled anti-personnel mines it owns or that are under its jurisdiction or control, not later than four years after the acceding to this treaty.

Non-signatories (33)

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Tonga, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

India and Land Mines

Landmines have been extensively used by Indian army in borders areas specially along the LOC and international border line.
All over the world there is a consensous not to use mines any more and 80% of the world has signed the treaty known as Mine Ban treaty.

There are many problems with Mines

  • Indiscriminate: Landmine once is laid , dont know whether it is civilian or a combatant who is getting killed. So many times our own soldiers, civilians are killed.
  • Long Lasting: Landmines remains even after the war is over or the fight is over so there is always a risk.Also, after some time the extent and exact geographical area is not known to anyone which keeps the ear alive.
  •  Agricultural Land: Mililtary has many times taken agricultural land which affects lakhs of peoples livelihood.
  • Civilian Casualties: Apart from soldiers dying due to unknown mines but many civilians also die to due to these mines and always fear is there in the minds of communities.
  • Infiltration: These mines have not stopped any infiltration or attacks on Indian cities.
    Now with fencing and more security these mines have become burden and these should not be encouraged anymore.

    We need to rethink our policy of protecting our borders and save the lives of soldiers, civilians and agricultural land.Most importantly we need to remove the fear among communities that are living in these areas. Times of mines have gone and we need to join the world and sign this treaty.

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