Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti without wages as big guns fail to pay UN dues

The Army Headquarters yesterday attributed the non-payment of due membership contributions to the UN Mission by leading members such as USA, Japan and several Western Nations to the failure of payment of salaries to Sri Lankan Peace Keeping Troops in Minustash, Haiti.

The Army said it had been intimated about this inordinate delay by leading Western Nations in reimbursing the United Nations Mission.

Sri Lanka receives reimbursements for the services as well as salaries of the troops on a quarterly basis from the UN once sufficient funds are contributed by member states to the UN.

In this regard, the last payment received for Sri Lankan troops was in May, 2007. The Special Committee on Peace Keeping has several times brought this matter urging contributions to the peace keeping budget need to be made promptly without undue delays, Army headquarters said.

The United Nation has informed that the Peace Keeping Budget for the UN Minustah Mission in Haiti is approximately US $ 500 million and that 193 UN members contribute annually to this budget on a UN assessment rate proportionate to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For instance, the USA bears 26 per cent of Minustah, Haiti Budget and Sri Lanka’s contribution is only a meagre 0.0032 per cent. The UN will transmit the reimbursement money only after sufficient funds have been contributed by Members States to the Mission Budget.

The Sri Lanka Army refuted allegations that such reimbursements are not within the purview of the Sri Lanka Army since the UN had recently informed that it expected to release funds to Troops Contribution Countries (TCC) within the first half of this year.

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