Sri Lanka expands number of troops and officers in its armed forces

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 November 2009, 11:29 GMT]
Though Sri Lanka government claims that the war with Liberation Tigers is over it is actively engaged in recruiting persons to serve as soldiers and officers in Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), according to statements made by the spokesmen of the three armed forces to media in Colombo. Recruitment to Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force will continue to meet the targets for this year and the coming years, they said. New officers are much needed for defensive and offensive purposes, for humanitarian de-mining and for development work in the country, they added.

“Our target is to recruit 10,000 for the new batch,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

He said that the monthly wage would be increased by Rs. 1000 for all officers and soldiers and that an allowance of Rs. 3000 would also be paid to each member of the Army. “Previously this allowance was made available to those in operational areas such as the North and East. But now it will be extended to everyone in the Army,” he said.

“Some members of the Army have retired, others are sick; there are absentees and deserters. We need more recruits to replace the officers who have left the Army,” he added.

Meanwhile, Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said that there was no closing date of any nature in the recruitment process of the Air Force. “We are recruiting new officers as often as we can,” he said.

Wing Commander Nanayakkara while declining to divulge the number of officers in the Air Force as it was confidential said that recruitment continues to achieve the target.

Acting Navy Spokesman Captain A. Senaratne said that nearly 8000 new members had been recruited to the Navy from January this year to now. “Steps are taken to recruit another 1000 or so sailors and officers in the coming days,” he said.


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