Dullas sounds alarm: Army without Chief of staff for 40 days; 27,000 soldiers have deserted during past two years



MP Dullas Alahapperuma

By Saman Indrajith

Dissident SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma told Parliament yesterday that 27,000 soldiers had deserted during the past two years.Participating in the third reading debate on Budget 2024 under the defence ministry expenditure heads, the MP said that the enmasse desertion by service personnel should be taken seriously by the defence authorities.

“There seems to be a serious problem here and it warrants immediate attention because there could be dangerous consequences as a result of that trend.

“There has been no Chief of Staff for the army during the past 40 days. That is the second highest rank in the army. There is no other occasion in the history of the army where it functioned without a Chief of Staff for so long. We do not know the reason for this inordinate delay. This has caused many problems in the army.

“There are many questions of grievous nature pertaining to public security. Around 50 killings take place in the country a month. A person is killed every 14 hours. There have been months in the recent past where more than 60 persons were killed,” MP Alahapperuma said.