Move to deprive some SF personnel of full pension rights – DNA


By Saman Indrajith

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) yesterday said that a large number of military families were distressed over an attempt by the government to deprive them of full pension rights on the basis of their deployment in operational areas during the war.

DNA Group Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told parliament that some members of the military would be deprived of their due pension as a result of the government imposing new conditions.

The JVPer cited a letter issued by the Director General of the National Budget Department on July 06, 2010 to the Public Administration and Home Affairs Director General that only those who had been in service on May 19, 2009 would be entitled to a full pension (85 per cent of the salary drawn at the time of retirement). Others would have to prove that they had served five years in operational areas, the DNA National List MP said.

He said that the Cabinet of ministers had decided on December 24, 2009 that officers and other ranks of the tri-forces would be entitled to full pension rights after completing 22 years in service. The full pension was to be paid from January 2010, though it had now been changed, the MP said.

MP Dissanayake alleged that new conditions had caused heartburn among military families. He lashed out at the government for acting contrary to a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers and given wide publicity by the media.

The MP said it was unreasonable on the part of the government to set a condition with regards the number of years in operational areas as officers and men had no option but to serve in areas as directed by their high commands. "It is a great injustice to the servicemen. Wherever they were, they served the country," Dissanayake said, while demanding to know whether the government would take remedial action.

Responding to the DNA allegations, Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister John Seneviratne said that those directly involved in the war would receive full pension rights. He said that the government had provided a range of facilities and relief measures to the servicemen. However, servicemen had to serve in operational areas for at least five years to receive full pension, the minister said.

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