Sri Lanka arrest over 500 army deserters after General Amnesty expired

Sri Lanka law enforcement authorities have arrested 556 Army personnel who are Absent Without Leave (AWOL) after a month-long General Amnesty declared by the Ministry of Defense expired on 23 November.

The authorities arrested 555 army officers including 23 female officers and one Cadet Officer, Army Media Spokesperson Major General Roshan Seneviratne said.

During the amnesty period declared from 23rd October to 22nd November 2017, 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, the Ministry of Defense said.

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 began 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.


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