General amnesty for tri-forces absentees

A week long General Amnesty was declared today, to tri-forces absentees, enabling them to receive a discharge or to rejoin and continue their national service to the country, the Ministry of Defence said.

A press release issued by the Defence Ministry today (14 January) states that the General Amnesty period has been declared under the directions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and will be in force for seven days commencing from February 5, 2020.

This measure has been taken with the intention to provide an opportunity for Tri-Forces personnel who had served the nation under difficult circumstances facing numerous hardships and had left their respective services without following proper procedures.

This General Amnesty is offered only to tri-forces absentees who have been marked absent without leave (AWOL) before September 30, 2019.

Meanwhile, a grace period to handover illegal firearms held without valid permits or documents was also announced by the Defence Ministry from February 5 to 12.

Following the directives of Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, it has been decided to collect all illegal firearms during the week long amnesty.

The Defence Ministry has requested those who are possessing firearms to hand them over to the nearest police station during the amnesty period.

The Police have been instructed to take legal action against those who have failed to handover the unauthorized weapons to the Police during the amnesty period.

This decision has been taken to ensure public safety and curb threats posed by such weapons. (Colombo Gazette)