Remains of Sri Lankan Peacekeepers brought to the island
The mortal remains of the two Sri Lanka Army UN
Peacekeepers were brought to the island on Monday (04 February). The
coffins of Major H.W.D. Jayawickrama and Sergeant S.S. Wijekumara were
received in a military parade by the Sri Lanka Army. State Minister of
Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene was also present at the Katunayake
Airport to receive the bodies.
The UN flag draped coffins were formally handed over
by the MINUSMA Force Commander, Lieutenant General Dennis Gyllisporre
and other UN representatives to the Army Commander Lieutenant General
Mahesh Senanayake. Later coffins were draped with the National flag and
the vigilant troops in the ceremonial parade handed over the UN flag
back to the MINUSMA Force Commander symbolizing the formal acceptance by
the troop contributing country. Later the bodies were taken to the
Negombo Hospital for post-mortem formalities.
Military funerals of the two fallen UN Peacekeepers
would take place at their respective home towns in Polonnaruwa and
Polpithigama in due course.
UN Resident Coordinator, Sri Lanka Ms. Hanaa Singer,
senior Army officers and family members of the two personnel were also
present at the solemn ceremony held to receive the caskets of the two
The two peacekeepers Captain H.W.D. Jayawickrama and
Corporal S.S. Wijekumara, were killed in an IED (Improvised Explosive
Device) explosion, when their WMZ convoy came under rebel attack, while
engaged in Peacekeeping duties in Keerana area in Mali, last Friday
(25). They have been posthumously promoted to their next ranks.