|Sixty-Years of UN Peacekeeping: Sri Lankan Peacekeeper Honoured|
|Friday, 30 May 2008 00:00|
Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations receiving the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on behalf of the Government and Sri Lanka Army, from the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno.
Sixty-Years of UN Peacekeeping: Sri Lankan Peacekeeper Honoured
On 30th May, United Nations honoured peacekeepers from over forty Member States who laid their lives during the year 2007. In recognition of their service and as a tribute to the fallen blue-helmets, the United Nations posthumously awarded ninety peacekeepers with the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal at a solemn ceremony held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Sri Lankan Peacekeeper, Lance Coporal A. Jayantha, who died, while serving in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was among those honoured. Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations accepted the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal, on behalf of the Government and the Sri Lanka Army.
On 29th May, the United Nations also marked sixty-years of peacekeeping since it’s first-ever peacekeeping Mission was deployed in the Middle East in 1948. UN Peacekeeping since then has seen a rapid expansion and as of today, over one hundred thousand men and women from 120 countries are serving under the UN Blue flag with the common objective of promoting peace and security in conflict affected areas, world-wide.
Sri Lanka first participated in UN peacekeeping far back in 1960 by deploying six peacekeepers in United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). And recently, Sri Lanka enhanced its contribution by deploying a complete infantry battalion of 950 personnel to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in 2004. Sri Lanka is now a committed partner for UN peacekeeping operations with over thousand men and women from the three Armed Forces and the Police serving in seven different Peacekeeping Missions and ranks 22nd in terms of troop contributions to the UN Peacekeeping. Sri Lankan peacekeepers have been commended by the United Nations for their professionalism and commitment on many occasions and four Sri Lankan peacekeepers have lost their lives while on duty.
At a time when Sri Lanka is compelled to battle terrorism locally, its commitment to share the UN efforts in maintaining peace elsewhere, often under difficult circumstances, is a manifestation of Sri Lanka’s solidarity with the international community and determination to shoulder international responsibilities.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
30th May 2008