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MDD ‘Yankee’ of SL Army honoured in Washington

 Sri Lanka Army Engineers Brigade Commander,Brigadier Amith Seneviratne with MDD ‘Yankee’ and Lance Corporal Rajapakshain Washington after receiving the award from MLI’s President and Executive Director Perry F. Baltimore.

The Mine Detection Dog (MDD), ‘Yankee’ of the Sri Lanka Army MDD team was honoured in the US Marshall Legacy Institute’s (MLI) 20th anniversary event in Washington D.C on Tuesday (24).

This was the second consecutive year, a MDD dog of the Sri Lanka Army was felicitated in this manner.The MLI’s annual gala honours individuals whose extraordinary efforts have improved lives in war-torn countries and highlights accomplishments in the past year that have contributed to make the world a safer place.

MDD ‘Yankee’ was sponsored by schoolchildren in Greenwich, Connecticut through the MLI’s ‘Children Against Mines Programme’. MDD ‘Yankee’ which served with the Sri Lanka Army Engineers Humanitarian Demining Unit for six years sniffing out mines and saving lives in mine-contaminated areas of Sri Lanka until its retirement, earlier this year.

Together with her handler, she has cleared 62,680 square metres of mine-contaminated land. Today, MDD ‘Yankee’ has been declared as the K9 Ambassador for the Marshall Legacy Institute and often travels the U.S. with MLI officials to give demonstrations in schools and other public locations to raise awareness on MLI programmes in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

Lance Corporal T.K.D. Rajapaksha of the Sri Lanka Army Engineers’ Humanitarian Demining Unit, were presented the ‘Dog Team of the Year - 2017’ Award by Perry F. Baltimore, MLI’s President and Executive Director.

A team, led by Brigadier Amith Seneviratne, Engineer Brigade Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Engineers, together with MDD ‘Yankee’ and Lance Corporal Rajapaksha were recognised and appreciated for their contribution and dedication to demining efforts in Sri Lanka.

The Marshall Legacy Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping mine-affected countries, has been assisting the Sri Lanka Army Humanitarian Demining Unit in its humanitarian effort to clear landmines and explosive devices from affected regions of the country.

The government aims to make Sri Lanka a mine-free country by 2020.