Amnesty for army deserters

The Sri Lanka Army has announced a general amnesty for deserters of all ranks from October 23 to November 15 on the recommendation of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake.

Those making use of this amnesty and reporting back to the Army will be granted the option to leave the army according to the law.

A special operation will be launched in association with the police from November 16 to round up deserters who do not respond to this amnesty, Maj. General A. L. S. K. Perera said at a press conference yesterday.

He said last year a group of army deserters arrested last year for absconding are presently subjected to various penalties after producing them before a military court.

Legal action will be taken under the Penal Code against any person or institution found employing army deserters.

There are nearly 30,000 army deserters according to present calculations. Out of this, all those who are still living could report to the nearest Regimental Headquarters and leave the army after the proper procedure.

The amnesty is not applicable to cadres in the Medical Corps because the government had spent an enormous sum to train them and provide other facilities.

It is compulsory for such deserters to report back and get redeployed and thereafter retire on completing the period of service.

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