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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

Published on - 9/1/2004

Human rights, now a key subject in the Army

The ninth Officer Instructor course on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (IHL & HR), initiated by the Army's Directorate of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for members of the Armed Forces began at Panagoda Army Cantonment on Tuesday (31) morning attended by a host of distinguished guests.

A new batch of 38 Officers (29 Army 06 Navy 03 Air Force) will undergo this twenty-day long Advanced Refresher Training Course for Officer Instructors. The training, part of the Army's five year long programme (2000-2005) is sponsored by the International Committee of Red Cross and the Institute for Human Rights.

The Sri Lanka Army has hitherto conducted a number of such courses for both Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers. To-date 176 Officer Instructors and 183 Non-Commissioned Officers, trained on IHL & HR are now scattered across the country. Their contribution has produced effective results in the Armed Forces' attempt to minimize violations of Human Rights.

Major General P. S. B Kulatunga, Commander, Security Forces Headquarters (Wanni), Head ICRC delegation in Sri Lanka, Mr.Thierry Megrat, Chairperson, Human Rights Commission, Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy, Executive Directoress, Institute of Human Rights Mrs Malathi Ratwatte and several senior officers graced the inaugural ceremony.