Colombo Telegraph

Army At Odds With Prez, Lauds HRCSL

Contrary to the President’s view on Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Army has today expressed their gratitude and respect for the work done by the Commission.

Issuing a communique Sri Lanka Army said: “It is Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) that assists Sri Lanka Army, as in the case of other sister services and Police, in obtaining HR clearance for its troops who have been selected for embark on this noble duty of UN peacekeeping. In that effort Sri Lanka Army and HRCSL maintain highly cordial and professional relationship with mutual understanding and respect for difficulty of carrying out their respective roles which are open to the public domain.”

“It is the opinion of the Sri Lanka Army that we as Sri Lankans, should be proud that UN selected HRCSL, our own organization, to carry out the domestic mechanism in HR screening process. However, the task is not that easy as thousands of applications have to be scrutinized as all three Services and the Police are engaged in UN peacekeeping, apart from the duties that HRCSL has to perform according to its prime mandate,” Army Headquarters further said.

We publish below the statement in full:

PRESS RELEASE ON DEPLOYING OF SRI LANKA ARMY TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS AND OBTAINING OF HUMAN RIGHTS CLEARANCE FROM “HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF SRI LANKA (HRCSL)”

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has rendered a significant contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions and assisted the UN in its effort to maintain peace and security throughout the world. Participation of Sri Lankan Army peacekeepers in the UN missions goes back to late 1957, to the first ‘classical’ peacekeeping mission, First United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF 1), to end the Suez War. It followed up with a small scale contingent deployed in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) in 1960. After several decades of silence, due to domestic upheavals, Sri Lanka Army re-commenced its contribution to United Nations with a deployment of an infantry battalion in Haiti in 2004 (MINUSTAH), which lasted till the close down of the mission in 2010.

As at present, troops of Sri Lanka Army deployed in 06 UN missions and working as Staff Officers in the UN Headquarters – New York. There more than 400 troops deployed as members of three contingents in Lebanon, South Sudan and Mali, and 35 officers serving as Staff Officers and Military Observers in number of UN missions and also in the UN headquarters – New York. There have been altogether  more than 18600 troops have served as UN peacekeepers and some have paid the supreme sacrifice in their effort in making the world a peaceful planet to live with harmony.

Apart from being subjected to strict selection process, one of the compulsory prerequisite for anybody to don the “blue Helmet” is, being cleared of Human Rights (HR) violations. It has been the practice throughout in UN for all nationals, and Sri Lanka Army has been enthusiastically engaged in that process in view to produce the best of peacekeepers. 

It is Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) that assists Sri Lanka Army, as in the case of other sister services and Police, in obtaining HR clearance for its troops who have been selected for embark on this noble duty of UN peacekeeping. In that effort Sri Lanka Army and HRCSL maintain highly cordial and professional relationship with mutual understanding and respect for difficulty of carrying out their respective roles which are open to the public domain.

It is the opinion of the Sri Lanka Army that we as Sri Lankans, should be proud that UN selected HRCSL, our own organization, to carry out the domestic mechanism in HR screening process. However, the task is not that easy as thousands of applications have to be scrutinized as all three Services and the Police are engaged in UN peacekeeping, apart from the duties that HRCSL has to perform according to its prime mandate. 

Sri Lanka Army has the highest confidence in the HRCSL that it does its utmost to expedite this HR screening process. It is requested that any querries in this regard or any matter with regard to the UN peacekeeping by Sri Lanka Army be referred to the Commander of the Army or the Directorate of Media for accurate and current information without resorting to unauthorized persons/entity in view to allow the effort of the Sri Lanka Army in UN peacekeeping to further the image of the country. Sri Lanka Army has no doubt that all citizens have the national interest in their hearts and serve the motherland to the best of their ability in whatever way they can.

Karu Responds To Sirisena’s Unfair Attacks On CC And HRCSL: Confirms Sirisena Lied And Misrepresented Facts

My Response To The President’s Criticism On CC & HRCSL

Military Propagandists Targeting The HRCSL And RTIC 

Varsity Dons Condemn ‘Incendiary Statements’ Against HRCSL

Sirisena Hits Out At Constitutional Council Again: Questions CC Decision To Shoot Down Appointments Of 12 Judges: Also Attacks Human Rights Commission

Dr Deepika Udagama Responds To Sirisena’s Unfair Attacks On Human Rights Commission

Back to Home page