By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya
A contingent of 243 Army personnel of the Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of the Sri Lanka Army will leave for Mali, to serve in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) next week, the Army said yesterday.
They said 20 Officers and 223 other Ranks representing 13 Regiments of the Army, was scheduled to leave for Mali, the landlocked West African country during the November 12 -13 period. The new contingent presented a formal military salute to Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva at the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) Headquarters
at Boyagane yesterday.
The CCC is comprised of Army Officers and other Ranks of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR), the majority in the contingent as well as members of the Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG), Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC), Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR), Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR), Corps of Engineer Services (CES), Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC), Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps (SLAOC), Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME), Sri Lanka Corps of Military (SLCMP) and Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC).
The Army said that the Sri Lankan CCC of 181 members already serving in Mali is expected to return on November 14.
Major General R.K.B.S Ketakumbura, Colonel of the Regiment, VIR welcomed the Commander of the Army and invited him to receive the Guard of Honour salute in the parade ground.
The first group of 43 peacekeepers will leave on 12 November and the remainder of 200 personnel are set to leave on 13 November. Similarly, CCC 196 troops (Phase I) already serving Mali will return home on Thursday (14).