July 29, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Army has taken measures to delist and delete the names of all Army deserters, Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has said.
The Army Commander has said that around 60,000 service personnel have deserted the Army since its inception in 1948 but their names have not been properly removed from the Army registers.
"Therefore, moves are underway to remove the names of these deserters from the Army's registers," the Commander has said.
The Army Commander has appointed a four-member committee to look into the issue of delisting the names and the committee has categorized all 60,000 absentees into four groups.
The committee has separated the deserters into groups of those involved in illegal activities, obtained loans from the Army, deserted with Army's properties, such as, weapons and those who are not liable for any such malpractices.
"The Army will take disciplinary action against the first three categories before deleting their names. But the deserters of the fourth category will be deleted from the Army registers with no punitive actions," the Army Commander has said.
Earlier this year the Army said that it has arrested over 36,000 deserters after the war ended in May 2009.
The military says it has decided to be stern on the Army deserters following several investigations that showed the involvement of a number of Army deserters in the recent wave of serious crimes.