UN decorates 200 Sri Lankan peacekeepers - Haiti
Two hundred members of the Sri Lankan contingent in
the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were
decorated with the United Nations peacekeeping medal at a solemn
ceremony organized at its contingent base in L‚ogane on the 29th of
The Deputy Special Representative of the
Secretary-General in Haiti, Luiz Carlos Da Costa, in his message
expressed his gratitude for their "professionalism and spirit of
sacrifice shown by the members of this contingent by their work in a
difficult and dangerous environment to attain peace, stability and hope
for a better future for the people of Haiti."
Mr. Da Costa continued by saying "I am very encouraged
by the improved security situation in Cit‚ Soleil and Martissant where
the Sri Lankan battalion's efforts to improve security have obtained
In his address, Major-General Carlos Alberto Dos
Santos Cruz, the Force Commander of MINUSTAH, congratulated the Sri
Lankan contingent for all that it had accomplished since the beginning
of the mission and he honored the memory of the peacekeepers from Sri
Lanka who had fallen in the line of duty in Haiti.
"I consider this event a momentous occasion and an
honor for the officers and soldiers of the Sri Lankan battalion who have
dedicated a life of service to the Haitian nation" said the Sri Lankan
contingent commander Colonel Ajith Kariyakarawana. He added "I would
like to express my gratitude to the United Nations for its recognition
of the accomplishments of the Sri Lankan forces and for giving us this
great opportunity to serve under its flag."
Sri Lankan soldiers have been in Haiti since 2004,
their first peacekeeping mission. Since that time, they have also
deployed to Western Sahara, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Liberia, Sudan, and Timor-Leste. The 947-strong Sri Lankan battalion in
Haiti has been deployed to L‚ogane, Petit Goƒve and Jacmel.
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