Army Grants General Amnesty To Deserters

The Sri Lanka Army on Wednesday announced a two-week amnesty period for deserters, enabling them to receive their legal discharge.

The military absentees can directly reach their respective regimental headquarters and receive their discharge under four categories between April 2 and 16, Adjutant General of Army, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said at a press briefing.

He said there were 17 officers and over 41,000 other rankers who had deserted the service at various times.

The move came under the directives of President Maithripala Sirisena. It will facilitate the discharge of all officers and soldiers who were absent for more than six months after repayment of their financial dues, if any, to the army.

Under the first category, the army said that long-term absentees, who do not owe any money to the army or are not implicated in any legal matter, are eligible to receive direct discharge.

Under the second category, those who have no legal obligations and are capable of settling their loans against remaining balance money in the Army Benevolent Fund, Suwa Sahana Fund and Compulsory Savings Fund or through the guarantors or relatives, can be discharged.

Under the third category, those absentees without any legal issues or any loans that should be paid back to the army or whose loans can be settled against the balances lying to their credit in the army Benevolent Fund.

Under the fourth category, absentees who have been charged for indiscipline or accused of other malpractices or criminal acts could also receive discharge in accordance with existing army legal procedures and regulations.

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