Sri Lanka: the ICRC and the Defence University train the military in IHL
In June the ICRC, together with the law faculty of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, conducted an advanced workshop on international humanitarian law (IHL) for IHL instructors from Sri Lanka’s army, air force and navy.
The main objectives of the three-day workshop, held from 10 to 12 June 2013, were to give participants an opportunity to keep up with the latest legal developments and refresh their basic knowledge of different aspects of IHL.
"One of the expectations of this workshop is that the IHL trainers in the armed forces will disseminate the knowledge that they gain to their subordinates", said Brigadier General (retired) Lloyd Gillett, the ICRC’s regional delegate to the armed and security forces. Brigadier General Gillett conducted the workshop, with the support of Channa Jayawardena, ICRC communications officer.
"Dissemination of IHL knowledge among military personnel and other relevant parties is an important measure which has to be taken during peacetime in that it ensures compliance with IHL during an armed conflict", said Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke.
Major General Milinda Peiris, the university’s vice chancellor, acknowledged the contribution made for more than a decade by the ICRC towards educating members of the Sri Lankan armed forces on the principles of IHL.
During the workshop, held in Ratmalana, 32 participants from the Sri Lankan army, navy and air force engaged in active discussions on topics covering means and methods of warfare, command responsibility, direct participation in hostilities and peacekeeping operations. "The knowledge personally benefited me and it will also benefit my subordinates once I commence lectures in my camp," said a participant.