Sri Lanka

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 November 2013

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State not party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Voted in favor of Resolution 67/32 in December 2012, as in previous years

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended interssesional meetings in May 2013


The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.[1]

Sri Lanka has not made any formal statements regarding the Mine Ban Treaty since 2009 when it said that it “fully subscribes to the humanitarian objectives of the treaty.”[2] However, in a July 2012 meeting with the diplomatic community in Colombo, the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, reportedly said that the Defence Ministry was ready for Sri Lanka to sign the treaty.[3] In September 2010, the Ministry of Economic Development published a plan that would “advocate for a ban of landmines and cluster munitions,” but as of 1 August 2012 it is not known to have done so.[4]

Sri Lanka did not attend the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012, but it did attend the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2013 in Geneva without making any statements. While it submitted a voluntary Article 7 report in 2005, Sri Lanka has not updated it to include information on its stockpile since then. It voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 67/32 on 3 December 2012 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has for every annual pro-ban UNGA resolution since 1996. Sri Lanka also attended the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance in June 2013 in Bangkok.

Sri Lanka is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines but has never submitted an annual Article 13 report. However, it attended the annual meeting on Amended Protocol II in November 2012.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Since the end of armed conflict in May 2009, the Monitor has not received any reports of new use of antipersonnel mines by any entity.

There is no evidence that the government of Sri Lanka has ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. It has a stockpile, but its current size and composition are not known.

In April 2009, Brigadier Lasantha Wickramasuriya of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) acknowledged that the army had used antipersonnel mines in the past, but stressed that such use was only in the past. He said the army had used non-detectable Belgian, Chinese, and Italian mines, as well as bounding and fragmentation mines of Pakistani, Portuguese, and United States (US) manufacture.[5] The Monitor had previously reported that Sri Lanka acquired antipersonnel mines from China, Italy (or Singapore), Pakistan, Portugal, and perhaps Belgium, the US, and others.[6]

In October 2009, Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said that “the use of mines by the Sri Lankan military is strictly limited and restricted to defensive purposes only…to demarcate and defend military installations” and are “marked accordingly…and relevant records systematically maintained.”[7]

Prior to the end of armed conflict, in particular in 2008 and 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) laid large numbers of mines throughout the north.[8]



[1] In the past, the government has stated that Sri Lanka’s accession was dependent on progress in the peace process and on an agreement to ban landmines by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The civil war in Sri Lanka ended on 20 May 2009.

[2] Also in 2009, the Sri Lankan Army Commander stated, “In the current post-conflict phase in Sri Lanka, it is timely that we focus our attention on the international legal instruments that limit or ban certain weapons based on humanitarian grounds,” referring to the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). He said that after a review of its position, the government decided to submit an updated voluntary Article 7 report. Keynote address by Lt.-Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, International Law and Explosive Remnants of War Seminar, Colombo, 27 October 2009. The text of the keynote address was reproduced in: “Flow of arms to terrorists must stop,” The Sri Lanka Guardian, 28 October 2009,

[3] Dinidu de Alwis, “Gotabhaya - diplomats in high profile meet,” Ceylon Today, 6 July 2012,

[4] Ministry of Economic Development, “National Strategy for Mine Action in Sri Lanka 2010,” September 2010, p. 25.

[5] Presentation on Humanitarian Demining by Brig. Lasantha Wickramasuriya, SLA, Bangkok Workshop on Achieving a Mine-Free South-East Asia, 2 April 2009. The presentation included a section titled “Types of Mines Used by the Sri Lankan Army” followed by photographs and titles: P4MK1 (Pakistan antipersonnel mine); M72 (China antipersonnel mine); VS-50 (Italy antipersonnel mine); M16A1 (US bounding antipersonnel mine, however the photograph shows what appears to be a P7 MK 1 Pakistan or PRBM966 Portugal bounding mine); PRB 415 (photograph shows what appears to be a NR 409 Belgian antipersonnel mine); PRB 413 (photograph shows what appears to be a Portugal M421 antipersonnel mine); M15 and ND MK 1 antivehicle mines; and M18A1 Claymore mines.

[6] In its voluntary Article 7 report submitted in 2005, Sri Lanka noted the presence of these antipersonnel mines in minefields: P4MK1, P4MK2, P4MK3, P5MK1, Type 69 (Pakistan); PRB 413 (Portugal/Pakistan); PRB 409, M696 (Portugal); Type 66, Type 72 (China); and VS-50 (Italy/Singapore). Voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms C and H, 13 June 2005. The Monitor previously identified the following antipersonnel mines as having been used by government troops in the past: P4 and P3 MK (manufactured by Pakistan); Type 72, Type 72A, and Type 69 (China); VS-50 (Italy or Singapore); NR409/PRB (Belgium); M409 and M696 (Portugal); and M18A1 Claymore (US). See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,118; and Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 881.

[7] “Flow of arms to terrorists must stop,” The Sri Lanka Guardian, 28 October 2009,

[8] Prior to its demise, the LTTE was considered an expert in making explosive weapons. It was known to produce several types of antipersonnel mines: Jony 95 (a small wooden box mine), Rangan 99 or Jony 99 (a copy of the P4MK1 Pakistani mine), SN 96 (a Claymore-type mine), fragmentation antipersonnel mines from mortars, and variants of some of these antipersonnel mines, including some with antihandling features (including Rangan 99 antipersonnel mines with a motion sensor), as well as Amman 2000, MK1, and MK2 antivehicle mines. See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2010..