Next contingent of Sri Lanka blue berets ready to go to Haiti

Saturday, 22 December 2012 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The next contingent of Sri Lankan troops for the United Nations mission in Haiti will leave the country during the first week of January 2013, the military said.

The 15th contingent comprising Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Air Force personnel due to leave for the UN Peace Keeping Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) had its passing out parade at Sri Lanka Engineers Regimental Headquarters premises at Panagoda Army Cantonment recently.

The 200-strong contingent from Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) included seven Army officers and 112 other ranks, one Navy officer and 39 sailors and one Air Force officer and 40 airmen, the Ministry of Defence said.

The unit, commanded by Major Saliya Jayasinghe of SLE will serve Haiti for a period of six months.

According to the Ministry, Sri Lankan peace keepers provide security to all key towns along main roads and suburbs in Haiti, preventing different armed groups from engaging in violence.

Sri Lanka is a committed partner for UN peacekeeping operations with a total of 1,070 men and women from the three Armed Forces and the Police currently serving in seven different peacekeeping missions.

The opportunity for Sri Lankan troops to participate in overseas peace keeping missions and to work with foreign troops is expected to provide international exposure and training for the country’s armed forces and the Police personnel while bringing in monetary benefits to the personnel.