Government calls retired servicemen to join the armed
Roy Denish in Colombo, Friday 07.48..
Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunge today
called on all service personnel who had left active
services after five and 12 years or retired and under
the age of 50 years to join the regular armed forces
to fight the LTTE, which took control of one of the
country's heavily guarded well-entrenched military
complexes, the Elephant Pass last week.
A news release from the official arm of the military,
the Operational Headquarters said that "HE the
President has called out the members of the Sri Lanka
army, Navy and Air Force regular reserve on active
service with effect from May 1,2000".
Those willing to join the active armed forces were
requested to report to the nearest service camp or in
the case of the army to their respective regimental
centers between May 1 and 10. And the conditions laid
down by the respective services for those who should
report for duty are as follows.
Service personnel who had left after five years and 12
years service or retired and are under 50 years,
service dis-charge certificate and national identity
card will have to be produced when reporting for duty,
they will serve in low intensity areas, they will be
entitled to the pay and allowances as per prevailing
salary scales appropriate to their respective ranks at
the time of their transfer to the regular reserve and
officers in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel? Commander,
wing commander and blow are eligible.
The call comes just six days after, the country
suffered the worst ever setback in the on going 18
year-old-war, when Tiger rebels attempting to create
an independent homeland for minority Tamils took
control of Elephant Pass military complex located on
the gateway of northern Jaffna peninsula.
President Chandrika Kumaratunge who cut short her
visit to European countries arrived in Sri Lanka today
and held a series of discussions with her tri-services
commanders at her official residence, the Temple
The discussions according to government sources mainly
centered on the setback suffered by the armed forces
The talks were held amid reports that Tigers were
marching towards Mugamali, an area located just north
of Pallai, army's artillery base on the A9 highway.
The Colombo based journalists were not able to verify
current position of the raging battle since
communication between Colombo and Jaffna remained
crippled after Tigers blasted the government's
communication tower at Elephant Pass.
Sri Lankan telecommunication officials said linkage
between Colombo and Jaffna will be made through the
Mannar exchange within the next few days. Unconfirmed
reports reaching Colombo from Vavuniya said that heavy
hand-to-hand fighting was raging along the A9 highway,
but due to communication break down, the reports could
not be verified.
Against the backdrop of fighting, an army Colonel was
taken into custody by the sleuths of the country's
Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for pilfering
drugs from the army hospital.
The un-named official was being grilled to determine
as to how many other soldiers and officers were
involved in the racket.