“The Sri Lanka Army has a history of its overseas troop deployment since 1960’s even before I was born. To our credit more than 17000 Army peacekeepers, about 300 Military Observers and Staff Officers have to-date served foreign UN assignments world-wide with the purpose of restoring global peace. In the future we would definitely be able to multiply our numbers in overseas assignments including Mali. I expect all of you proceeding to Mali in a couple of days would serve as a fully-pledged professional Army maintaining strict discipline and dignity of the organization,” the Commander was quoted by the Army media unit as telling his troops. “This international involvement is also an endorsement that recognizes our professionalism at international level. Note that we are a different breed of soldiers who can be identified as a special community called ‘Rata Rakina Jathiya’ (RRJ), a new concept defined by me irrespective of ethnic differences,” he added. (Colombo Gazette) The Army is to increase troop deployment for UN peacekeeping operations, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said.He said that Sri Lanka wants to increase the numbers in Mali to be equal to a Brigade in future and show the world that the Sri Lanka Army, like any other Army in the world, has the full potential of undertaking any responsibility at international level. The Commander said that the assignment in Mali is not for any personal gains but for the best interest of the country.