Sri Lanka has earmarked one infantry brigade consisting of three battalions, along with several companies including Special Forces personnel to be deployed for United Nations Peacekeeping Missions abroad. Speaking to The Nation, Director, Army Media, Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said in addition to the three battalions, the Army would also deploy a Transport Company, a Field Engineering Company, a Plant Engineering Company and two companies consisting of Special Forces personnel for peacekeeping duties.

However, the total strength of the Sri Lankan contingent has not been determined as yet, Brigadier Jayaweera specified. “We are waiting for a green-light from the UN for these forces to deploy,” he noted, adding that the countries to which the Sri Lankan peacekeepers would be deployed will be conveyed by the UN once the peacekeeping mission is approved.

Speaking at the Leader’s Summit on Peacekeeping at the United Nations in New York last month, President Maithripala Sirisena revealed that Sri Lanka’s current contributions to UN Peacekeeping stood at 529, including troops, military observers and civilian police. In response to current gaps in UN peacekeeping Missions, the President in his speech pledged two Combat Transport Companies, two Field Engineering platoons, one Infantry Battalion, two Special Forces Companies, one Combat Engineering Company, three Infantry Battalions, one Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, one Force Protection Company and two Police Units.

According to Brigadier Jayaweera, some of the existing Sri Lankan deployments to UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world include Lebanon, South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Central Africa and Western

(S J)