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Withdraw Lankan peacekeeper in Mali: UN

Withdraw Lankan peacekeeper in Mali: UN

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Oct 2018 7:44 AM GMT

United Nations: The commander of the Sri Lankan contingent in the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali has been ordered back home after a review of his human rights record, according to Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The decision to send Lt. Col. Kalana Priyankara Lankamithra Amunupure back was made after new information about him was received by the UN, Dujarric said on Friday, Besides the usual vetting for all peacekeepers, “there were some extra procedures done with the Sri Lankan contingents”, he said.

Amunupure was reportedly involved in atrocities against Tamils during the civil war in Sri Lanka when tens of thousands of civilians perished and the UN has said that war crimes were committed. A human rights group, International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), said in an April press release from London that it had sent the UN a list of 56 paramilitary Special Task Force (STF) personnel who should be barred from serving as peacekeepers because of their human rights record. It said they “are either alleged perpetrators or were involved in frontline combat in the final stages of the war when the UN says system(ic) crimes were committed by security force units”. Of Sri Lanka’s 682 peacekeepers, about 200 are deployed in the West African nation with the operation known as UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. (IANS)

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