Former deserter commits suicide

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A soldier committed suicide by shooting himself at Sittandy Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp, 26 km north of Batticaloa, this morning, said Sri Lankan sources in Europe today.

Trooper Soysa (21), was a deserter who had surrendered to the SLA during the recent amnesty granted by the Sri Lanka Government to persuade deserters to return, said the sources.

His body was taken to Eravur Hospital where an inquest was held. Soysa's body was then despatched to his village sources.

According to western defence analysts, several thousand soldiers desert the Sri Lanka Army each year. The SLA has been attempting to persuade them to return by offering several amnesties and guarantees of impunity.

However these have produced lack lustre results say the analysts, and the SLA and Sri Lankan police have been attempting to round up deserters by force.

Analysts say that deserter sent back to the front are likely to re- offend, but the SLA is said to be sufficiently short of manpower as to take this risk.

 

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