Army, Navy, Air Force deserters who have not obtained legal discharge during the general amnesty period have been barred from leaving the country, the Defence Ministry said today.
The general amnesty granted to the tri forces' personnel considered Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) to obtain legal discharge ended at midnight on December 31, 2016.
Military Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said strict legal action would be taken against deserters who have not reported to duty during the general amnesty period.
"They will face difficulties when applying for jobs while it is also illegal to employ such persons. The amnesty period was granted to give them an opportunity to obtain legal discharge from service,” he said.
Brigadier Seneviratne said during the amnesty period some 9,000 tri-forces' personnel including thirty-four officers, considered AWOL have reported to their respective service centres seeking legal discharge.
He said 11 officers and 7,812 army soldiers, two Naval officers and 709 sailors and 21 officers and 312 airmen of the air force have reported back during time.
The 30-day amnesty period which came into effect on December 1 is the second such amnesty provided last year to tri-forces' deserters to obtain legal discharge. The first was between June 13 and July 12 last year.
The Defence Ministry said some 174 officers and 42,506 army soldiers, 26 Naval officers and 6,133 sailors and 37 Air Force officers and 2,806 airmen were considered AWOL prior to the general amnesty. (Darshana Sanjeewa)