Army insists SLHRC not involved in recalling of Mali officer

The Army today insisted that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (SLHRC) was not involved in the recalling of the Contingent Commander of the Sri Lankan Combat Convoy Company in Mali (MINUSMA).

A statement by the Army media unit said that in response to a request made by the United Nations, the Sri Lanka Army had decided to recall Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupura, the Contingent Commander of the Sri Lankan Combat Convoy Company in Mali.

The Army said that the appointment of the officer was agreed on by the UN itself after the Sri Lanka Army forwarded the names of four nominees in the year 2016 before the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka was entrusted the task of vetting service personnel, bound for UN assignments in December 2017 as advised by the UN.

“In fact, the UN at that stage cleared Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupura for the appointment of the Commander of Combat Convoy Company in Mali (MINUSMA) dropping all three other nominees,” the Army said.

Therefore, the Sri Lanka Army said that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka was not involved in recalling the said officer.

The Army said last week that it is to recall the military officer stationed in Mali following a UN demand but will later appeal against the order.

Following a review of the human rights background of the commander of the Sri Lankan contingent deployed to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali has requested Sri Lanka to immediately repatriate him to Sri Lanka.

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that this would be done at their cost, as per normal procedures. (Colombo Gazette)

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