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Humpty Dumpty Institute Hosts Landmine Education Tour (LMET) To Utah

September 27-28, 2010


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The Humpty Dumpty Institute conducted a three-city Landmine Education Tour to Utah on Monday September 27 and Tuesday September 28. Our first stop was the Hinckley Institute of Politics of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. For the presentation, HDI Landmine Program Manager Steve Ginther was joined by HDI Sri Lanka Deputy Country Director Namal Jayaweera and H. Murphy McCloy of the U.S. Department of State. Namal Jayaweera started the program with an in-depth presentation of HDI’s work in Sri Lanka and Steve Ginther spoke about HDI’s mine action activities globally. Murph McCloy followed with the U.S. view on the importance of combating landmines and unexploded ordinances (UXOs) worldwide. Over one hundred students were in attendance. The students asked informed questions including how to better implement the Ottawa Treaty Against Landmines and the status of mine action programs in Africa.

On Tuesday September 28, Steve, Namal, and Murphy were joined by the Defense Attaché of the Sri Lankan Embassy to the United States Brigadier General Vijitha Ravipriya. In the morning, the group traveled to Orem, Utah and addressed a group of close to fifty students in the Peace and Justice Studies Program of Utah Valley University. General Ravipriya spoke at length about the mine problem in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the recently concluded 30 year civil war. He described how the Sri Lankan Government is working to make Sri Lanka landmine free and to assist victims of landmines. The HDI delegation then traveled to Provo, Utah to give a presentation at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University. The students in attendance from the flagship university of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) were especially interested in HDI’s activities in Sri Lanka as LDS Charities has assisted HDI humanitarian programs through a major contribution of school and hygiene kits for the Sri Lankan Internally Displaced Persons after the conclusion of the civil war.

HDI’s Landmine Education Tour to Utah was a uniquely effective program as it was the first time an LMET had the opportunity to make presentation at three universities on one Tour. We were thus able to educate and inform a large and diverse group of students about the continuing impact landmines have in the developing world, how landmines impede global development, and to highlight HDI’s specific contributions to make landmines and UXO an unfortunate memory of the past.

Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

For more information please contact Steve Ginther at Steve.Ginther@theHDI.org.
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