Ratwatte warns of conscription

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Deputy Defence minister, General Anuruddha Ratwatte warned today that if the 15000 personnel who had deserted from the Sri Lankan armed forces did not return, he will be forced to order general conscription.

Another amnesty to deserters has been granted from today until May 10 he said

anurudda_ratwatte.gifThe deserters should return immediately to expedite the recruitment, to create new units for the SLA, he said.

Deserters who wish to return can register at Divisional Secretaries' offices, Government Agents offices', Sri Lankan Army camps and police stations he said.

The period the deserters have not been in service would be considered as unpaid leave, he said.

Furthermore, the minister said that giving refuge, hiding and employing deserters, was a punishable offense (under penal code 132, 133) with sentences of up to 2 year's imprisonment.

Ranil WickramasingheReacting to this at today's UNP Parliamentary Group meeting, Opposition leader, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, said that the Deputy Minister of defence was taking the nation on a path to destruction, and hence should resign.

"The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE must speak and resolve the conflict", he said.

"The government had said it would destroy the Tigers in two months and open the road [A9 highway] to Jaffna when it started Operation Jaya Sikirui, but it is now one year since then", he said.

"Now, the general says 15000 troops are needed and if he cannot raise them, he will be forced to conscript. This will lead to the nation's ruin. We are not going to agree to this", he said.

"It will take at least one year to train the 15000 new recruits. You all know what willl happen to troops who are sent without adequate training" said Mr.Wickremasinghe.

"We have been compelled to save the country from ruin" said the opposition leader, adding "The minister who is taking the country down this path to ruin must resign".


Related Articles:
25.02.98   Government woos deserters again
22.02.98   Lukewarm response to amnesty offer

 

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