A month long general amnesty period was declared from June 13th to July 13th (2016) to enable deserters to obtain legal discharge from their respective services.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that as of Tuesday (28th June 2016) a total of 8852 (Army 8099, Navy 418 and Air Force 335) deserters have obtained clearance and legal discharge.
Service personnel who are Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) can report to their nearest camp or Regimental Headquarters (Army), Welisara Naval Complex (Navy) and Air Force Head Quarters (Air Force) with their service identity card, National Identity Card and a photo copy of the pass book of the bank account to get their clearance done.
Before the general amnesty was announced there were around 25,000 Army, 7137 Navy and 510 Air Force deserters.
Deserters who report during the amnesty period will not be subjected to arrest or be detained. Upon completing their clearance they will be paid, if they are entitled to receive any salary payments upon deducting any outstanding dues. Furthermore if any deserters wish to continue his service in the tri-forces it may be considered according to the requirements of respective forces.
The Ministry of Defence said that the authorities will take legal action to take into custody deserters who fail to report during this amnesty period. (Colombo Gazette)