The fact that over 60,000 well trained military deserters at large was the biggest threat to post conflict national security of Sri Lanka, defence sources said.
A senior defence ministry source told that this figure equals to the total strength of the army before the conflict commenced, and some of these deserters had escaped with fire arms, explosives and ammunitions.
“It had been brought to the notice of the top officials of the security establishments that most of the organized crimes we witness today were the handy work of these deserters. The deserters with their training and experience are a welcomed and privileged lot among the underworld and nefarious groups,” he said.
Crime scene investigators most of the time come across that their fields had been trespassed by personnel well trained in arms and survival tactics, he added. Meanwhile, military spokesman Major General Ubhaya Medawala said that the military police has been able to arrest around 3,000 deserters. They included seven officers as well.
Army had sought the assistance of the police to trace the whereabouts of 60,000 Army deserters. He said that the arrested personnel would be given a chance to join the Army once again based on the reports on their conduct while in service and after deserting. The rest of the arrested deserters are to be given vocational training as a part of their rehabilitation and will be socialized after de-listing, he said. colombotoday