Over 11,200 army deserters have obtained legal discharge during the one-month long general amnesty period declared on 23rd October by the Ministry of Defense.
A total of 11,232 Army deserters including 15 Officers, 9 Officer Cadets and 11,208 Other Rank personnel had reported to their respective Regimental Centers seeking legal discharge during the Amnesty period ended at midnight, Wednesday (22nd November 2017), the Ministry of Defense said.
The month long Amnesty period was offered to Sri Lanka Army personnel, who are considered as AWOL (Absent Without Leave) to obtain legal discharge, from 23rd October to 22nd November (2017).
Originally the General Amnesty period was scheduled to end on the 15th (November) but was extended till the 22nd (November) in response to numerous requests made to the Army.
With the end of the General Amnesty, law enforcement authorities will begin island-wide operations to apprehend absconding deserters.
Provision of employment or harboring any Army absentee or deserter amounts to breach of existing law of the country and is a punishable offence in Court as per section 133 of the Penal Code.
During the previous month long General Amnesty offered to tri -forces absentees in December, last year (2016) about 9,000 tri- forces absentees had reported to their respective services seeking legal discharge.
Since the end of the General Amnesty on midnight 31st December (2016), authorities stepped up operations to arrest tri-forces deserters and by 19th August (2017), had taken into custody nine (09) Officers and 5641 Other Rank personnel during raids carried out island-wide.