Sri Lanka’s government claimed Wednesday that a tense situation that occurred on Tuesday at the Presidential Secretariat premises and the surrounding area was a conspiracy against the government that intended to create a division between the government and the War Heroes, as well as to cause an inconvenience to the Government, despite the agreement to provide the pension benefits to the differently-abled War Heroes.
The “tense situation” arose when a discussion being held at the Defence Ministry between the Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, representatives of the Presidential Secretariat and the representatives of the organization to protect the rights of the war heroes.
Demonstrators attempted to enter the premises of the President’s Office.
Minister of Law, Order, and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayake has instructed his ministry Secretary to submit a report after a complete investigation regarding the dispersion of the demonstrators by using tear gas.
According to Sri Lanka’s government, “It is clear that the innocent war heroes did not know who led them and this situation can be assumed as an attempt by a group who are against the Government as this protest held in an environment where all the necessary arrangements had already been made to solve the issue.”
As the minister in charge of Defence, President Maithripala Sirisena had presented a special Cabinet paper to the Cabinet four months ago, to provide these demands of the war heroes, according to the Sri Lanka government.
“Even though the direct intervention of the President was given on this issue, the protest held with the involvement of a group of Bhikkhus who engaged with political organizations against the Government as well as with the support of few outsiders, is undoubtedly a protest led with some persons with a political agenda,” the government said.
Even though providing pension benefits to the differently-abled War Heroes who volunteered to retire before completing their 12 year mandatory service period with retirement compensation, is contrary to the provisions of the Armed Forces Pensions and Gratuities Regulations, a decision was taken to provide pension benefits to these war heroes amending those rules and regulations under the direction of President Sirisena, the government said
The Ministry of Defence issued a press release on November 6, 2016 promising to pay pension benefits in addition to the monthly salary and allowances and disability allowance from next February, the government said.