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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

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Net widens for Army deserters

Over 2,500 arrested in first three months:

The Army announced that over 2,500 soldiers who deserted during the war period were arrested during the first three months of this year. Around 36,500 soldiers who deserted were arrested during 2009, 2010 and 2011), Army Media Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.

Around 65,000 soldiers deserted the Army over the last two decades and 36,500 among them have already been arrested, he said.

Brigadier Wanigasooriya said deserting their ranks and being absent without leave is illegal and liable for punishment.

“Measures are in place to take disciplinary action against soldiers who have deserted their ranks. They have taken measures to re- appoint the deserters who can be accommodated in their ranks following disciplinary inquiries while others are to to be dismissed from service. These decisions will be taken by a military tribunal,” he added.

However, 60 percent of deserters who were arrested have been re-appointed to their ranks, the Brigadier said. “It is only around one percent out of the Army deserters who are involved in unlawful activities in society and arresting them is the only solution,” Brigadier Wanigasooriya said.

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