30th August 2018 17:02:25 Hours
The Medal Parade of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the prestigious military ceremony that appreciates the exemplary dedication, made by any specific contingent, took place on Wednesday (22) at the UNIFIL Headquarters, Naqoura, Lebanon where the Sri Lankan contingent, was honoured awarding medals.
UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander Major General Shivaram Kharel graced the occasion as the Chief Guest at the invitation of the Sri Lankan (SRIBAT) contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Chinthaka Rajapaksha in Lebanon. HE the Ambassador of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to Republic of Lebanon Mrs. Wijeratne Mendis, Deputy Head of Mission Mr Imran Riza, Senior Officers of Lebanon Armed Forces and Senior Officials of the UNIFIL attended as special invitees at the ceremony.
Major General Piyal Wickramaratne, Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, attended on behalf of the Commander of the Army at the UNIFIL Medal Parade and was welcomed by the Contingent Commander Lieutenant Colonel Chinthaka Rajapaksha. He received the salute before proceedings got underway.
The ceremony for awarding of UN medals in Lebanon drew overwhelming admiration of the attendees due to its blend of military and entertaining nature with a Sri Lankan traditional dance and a special dog show in place after the parade in Lebanon.
The occasion was dignified and brought about a spirit of celebrations, amidst fluttering UN, Lebanon and Sri Lankan National flags in the backyard as the parade commenced before a large gathering of invitees.
Further, Major General Stefano Del Col, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, extended a warm welcome to Major General Piyal Wickramaratne on his arrival and had a courtesy meeting prior to the Medal Parade.
At the outset of the Commandant’s visit to the UNIFIL, he paid a courtesy call on HE the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Lebanon, Mrs Wijeratne Mendis at her official residence.
The visiting Sri Lankan Army representative visited the SRI BASE before the Medal Parade ceremony. A Guard Turn Out was accorded by Sri Lankan peace-keepers to him in accordance with military traditions. Afterwards he addressed the Sri Lankan troops. Besides, he planted an orange sapling to mark his visit to the UNIFIL premises. Thereafter, he shared refreshments with all ranks in the SRI BASE.
He also visited the BLUE LINE which lay along the border of Israel and Lebanon and met neighbouring Battalion Commanders of India and Nepal contingents during his visit.