A Sri Lankan Army contingent of 243 military personnel will leave for Mali next Tuesday (Nov 12) for UN peacekeeping operations.
A formal military parade will be held prior to their departure with the attendance of Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, at the Army Camp in Kurunegala, tomorrow (Nov 6).
The contingent will comprise 20 officers and 223 personnel belonging to other ranks. Among them are a Lietuenant Colonel, three Captains and 15 Majors.
They will engage in peacekeeping operations in Mali for a period of one year starting from November 13.
The new contingent would replace the existing troop in which two personnel had been killed while on duty, this year. They were posthumously promoted as a Major and Sergeant respectively.
Incidentally, this is the first peacekeeping contingent to be sent from Sri Lanka after the UN said it would reduce future deployments, citing concern over the appointment of the country's Army Commander Lt. Gen. Silva.
Military Spokesman Major General Sumith Atapattu told Times Online, that the UN had not objected towards the current deployment.
He noted that about 450 Sri Lankan troops are currently engaged in UN peacekeeping operations.