Sri Lanka seeks more UN peacekeeping slots

Sri Lanka’s military Wednesday said it was seeking more UN peacekeeping jobs as the island’s first batch of 750 troops prepared to leave for Haiti. Sri Lanka’s military Wednesday said it was seeking more UN peacekeeping jobs as the island’s first batch of 750 troops prepared to leave for Haiti. Army chief Lieutenant General Shantha Kottegoda said a peace deal with Tamil Tiger guerrillas could free more troops from the security forces to take up the lucrative peacekeeping slots.
Addressing the 750 infantrymen headed for Haiti next week, Kottegoda said he expected to send more soldiers abroad on similar missions.

“Once we have permanent peace, we will be in a position to send more of our soldiers abroad on these missions,” Kottegoda said at the military’s main base 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Colombo.

He said the prospect of being chosen for the plum posts with a basic salary of 1,028 dollars a month plus other allowances was encouraging new recruits and boosting the morale of enlisted men.

The average monthly salary of a Sri Lankan soldier is about US$ 100.

The French embassy here conducted classes in conversational Fr