Sri Lanka participated in years of U.N. peacekeeping operations while the country was embroiled in a brutal, generation-long civil war. Yet, even as Sri Lanka refused to investigate alleged war crimes by its troops during that conflict, the U.N. continued to deploy thousands of Sri Lankan peacekeepers to guard some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Key dates in Sri Lanka’s recent history of conflict and contributions to U.N. peacekeeping:
1948 — The United Nations deploys its first-ever peacekeeping mission to the Middle East.
1960 — Sri Lanka makes its first U.N. peacekeeping contribution, sending six soldiers to the U.N. mission in Congo.
1983 — Civil war breaks out in Sri Lanka, with rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam fighting government forces for an ethnic Tamil homeland in the island’s north and east.
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