US to host multinational peacekeeping training in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 May 2004, 11:23 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army's first Multinational Platoon Exercise (MPE) on UN Peace Support Operations Training, orientated to achieve effective inter operability among participating countries is to be ceremoniously launched at the newly established campsite at Kukuleganga on June 12. The Kukuleganga campsite will be renamed as the Institute of Peace Support Operations Training Sri Lanka (IPSOTSL), Sri Lanka Defense Ministry said in a press release.

"This particular concept of MPE, introduced by the US Army Pacific Command was first implemented in Nepal during 2000, secondly in Bangladesh in 2002 and the third will be in Kukuleganga in Sri Lanka from June 12-27," said the release.

The release added, "This mega event of such magnetude in Sri Lanka, as in previous occasions, is co-hosted by US Army Pacific Command with over 180 troops from Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal and USA participating in addition to 64 soldiers (two platoons) from the Sri Lanka Army."

"The objective of this MPE-3 code named "Sama Gamana" is to enhance understanding through co-operation while increasing the inter operability and readiness of force in the areas of planning and executing UN Peace Support Operations", states the press release.

Thirty-one common lessons tasks will be taught during the MPE-3 grouped under six lanes. Each lane is an independent stand for lessons assigned to be learned and practised by the troops, the release further states.

"The MPE-3 is based on the most common United nations Peace Support Operations at squad/platoon level tasks, covering spheres such as UN presence, Mandate, Rules of Engagement, Inter operability among participants in performing UN peace-keeping tasks, threat scenario, manning observation posts and checkpoints, Mine awareness, Patrolling, Convoy operations, Media management during Civil Disturbances, Displaced civilians and humanitarian relief operations," said the press release.

The Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt.General Lionel Balagalle, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Donald Perera, Inspector General of Police Mr.T. Indra de Silva Foreign Ministry Secretary Mr.H.M.G.S Palihakkara, US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Mr.Jeffry Lunstead, Mrs. Lunstead, Ambassadors for Nepal and Bangladesh Messrs B.B.Kunwar and A.M.Yaqub Ali will attend the inaugural ceremony on June 12, release added.

UN Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Mr.Miguel Bermeo, ICRC Head of Delegation Mr. Thierry Mbyrat, British Council Director Mr. Tony Obrien and a host of Defence Attaches and Advisors, diplomats and foreign dignitaries are also expected to participate in the inaugural ceremony, sources said.

Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Mr. Cyril Heart will be the chief guest at the closing session, sources said.

 

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