Bilateral Cooperation with HRCSL would Resolve Pending Screening
Issues of UN Peacekeepers
[June 27 2018]
Sri Lanka as one of the Troop Contributing Countries (TCC)
to the United Nations (UN) since the year
2004 has been in the practice of sending her troops for UN
Peacekeeping assignments in large groups in close collaboration with the
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO).
To be in line with the UN Secretary General's decision
No. 2012/18 on
2012 in relation to 'screening of UN
personnel for Human Rights', the Sri Lanka Army, consequent upon
discussions with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
UNDPKO and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) resolved
that an own national mechanism be followed with respect to independent
screening of personnel through the HRCSL.
Accordingly, this national process of screening which
needs the fullest cooperation of both the HRCSL and the armed forces for
vetting UN bound own members came into effect early this year, although
previous such clearance procedures were executed by authorities in the
UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
Sri Lanka Army, much more contented to have been
screened by our own independent authority, i.e HRCSL, particularly at a
time Sri Lanka is expanding its participation in UN assignments,
accordingly began submission of details of Army personnel, selected for
UN missions for HRCSL's independent vetting. In the meantime, UNDPKO in
constant touch with the Sri Lanka Army has been inquiring into reasons,
attributable to delayed dispatches of Sri Lankan troops for scheduled
rotational releases as agreed upon.
A round table conference to this effect, attended by
the Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairperson and
Commissioners of the HRCSL, visiting UNDPKO officials of the UN, New
York, Commanders of the Army and Navy, Air Force Chief of Staff,
Director General of the Directorate of Army Overseas Operations, STF
officers and Ministry of Defence officials took place as recent as
Thursday (21) in Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Army would always cooperate with the
HRCSL for clearance of this backlog since information that had been
produced by the Army for screening in some cases could also contain
shortcomings, complications, discrepancies, due to operational
commitments, change of residential addresses, etc.
The Sri Lanka Army while assuring its best cooperation
all the time to the HRCSL for implementation of its mandate expects this
bilateral understanding and coordination would certainly enable both
parties to sort out those pending issues amicably as early as possible.
At present, Sri Lankan troops, majority being from the
Sri Lanka Army have been deployed in Lebanon (UNIFIL), South Sudan (UNMISS),
Mali (MINUSMA), Abyei (UNISFA), New York (UNHQ), Central African
Republic (MINUSCA) and Western Sahara (MINURSO), either as military
observers, liaison officers, staff officers, staff officer assistants or
general contingent troops for peacekeeping. To-date a total of
450 Sri Lankan peacekeepers are
serving 7 UN peacekeeping overseas
missions under the UNDPKO.
Courtesy : Army Media