28th November 2017 15:47:20 Hours
The formal medal awarding ceremony for Sri Lankan Officers and Other Rankers, completing their 6 month long tenure of service at the United Nations Level II Hospital in South Sudan under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) took place on Friday (24).
A total of 16 Officers and 50 Other Rankers serving the UNMISS during this awarding ceremony in South Sudan were decorated with the UN medal on the eve of their return to the country upon completion of the 6-month long UN assignment.
Major General Kamal Sumanapala, Director General, Army Medical Services, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest representing the Commander of the Army with the concurrence of the UN.
The ceremony got to a start after paying floral tributes to all fallen UN peacekeepers by the Chief Guest as a formality at the location before Major General Kamal Sumanapala was greeted to a Guard Turnout and a Guard of Honour by medal recipients in conformity with military traditions.
Soon after the Chief Guest pinned the UN medal, he addressed the recipients and appreciated their services, rendered to the UN mission and the admiration they earned for the organization and Sri Lanka. A group photograph with Major General Kamal Sumanapala later on at the location added memories.
The Chief Guest was also invited to plant a sapling in the compound as a symbol of memory at the invitation of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Sidath Amarasekara Sri Lankan contingent before a brief cultural entertainment made the evening colourful and entertaining.
In a rare deviation from stereotype procedures, the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General as a special tribute to the outgoing Sri Lankan contingent, has granted permission to conduct the awarding parade on their own with the participation of one of the Sri Lankan Officers without the presence of a UN representative. A fellow lunch arrangement at the SRIMED Officers’ Mess culminated the day’s itinerary.
Sector Commander (East), Field Administrative Officer, all Contingent Commanders and other medical staff also participated in the medal ceremony as special invitees.