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Statement made by the Defence Secretary cautioning war veterans not to get duped by illegal foreign employment agents

The Ministry of Defence has learned that a number of retired war veterans who had immensely devoted their lives to defend the country during the 30 – year long terrorist war have got  caught to a scheme by some illegal foreign job agents and have sent to the Russian-Ukrainian war  front as members of mercenary groups.

It is also revealed that a significant number of war veterans have died and sustained injuries at the battlefield. It is regrettable that such war veterans who have served and retired with honour in the armed forces of Sri Lanka are acting as mercenaries in foreign countries. These war veterans have left to the Russian-Ukrainian war front as mercenaries after being duped by these human traffickers who had promised them opportunity to join the foreign army, handsome salary, citizenship in those countries and other benefits. However, neither the serving nor the injured had received any salaries or benefits and these traffickers have not even given any sort of compensation to the families of those injured or the dead. Further, they have failed to provide any information of the whereabouts of those war veterans to their families as well.

The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are making great efforts to obtain factual information about the war veterans and casualties at the Russian-Ukrainian war front.

The Defence Secretary has made a special request to the war veterans not to be caught to such illegal schemes and put their lives at risk by joining foreign mercenary groups and also think of the plight of their families before doing so.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police and Intelligence agencies have launched extensive operations to arrest such illegal human traffickers and several people involved in it have already been taken into custody.

While emphasizing that these war veterans who are Sri Lankan citizens cannot be allowed to be used as mercenaries in foreign land and put their lives at risk, the Defence Secretary further states that the law will be strictly enforced against the illegal human smugglers, establishments and others involved in these illegal activities.

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