Reasons for more deserters from armed forces listed in P’ment

Friday, 9 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent The Ministry of Defence yesterday admitted in Parliament that a dislike for engaging in activities outside the parameters of their service and financial and other difficulties were resulting in servicemen deserting their posts in the Air Force and Navy. The admission was made in response to a question for oral answers raised by Opposition legislator Ravi Karunanayake. “It is observed that servicemen of the Air Force absconded or went abroad due to financial difficulties, illness, having to engage in duties in difficult areas far away from their homes, as a result of engaging in activities which are inappropriate to Air Force regulations and personal reasons,” Chief Government Whip Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday. He said that an ‘Investigation Court’ had been appointed to take necessary action against these deserters. According to the Minister, an amnesty had been declared till 31 May 2009 for deserters. “Under the terms of the amnesty, disciplinary action had been taken against those deserters who had reported back for duty or were taken into custody, unless they were removed from service,” Minister Gunawardena said. The Minister also said that the main reasons for naval personnel to desert were household problems, love affairs, outcomes of peer group relationships, drug addiction, expectations of going overseas, involvement in profitable business dealings, the inability of enduring the differences that exist between the military environment and civil society and reluctance to participate in the courses which should be studied when performing duties in the Navy and get opportunities to engage in another occupation.