SL Working To Bring Back Stranded Ex-Soldiers

Sri Lanka Working On Safely Repatriating Ex-Military Personnel Serving in Russia

by Zulfick Farzan 15-05-2024 | 11:59 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st); In response to growing concerns about Sri Lankans traveling to Russia and Ukraine, State Minister of Defence, Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said that the immediate concern lies in safely repatriating Former Sri Lankan military personnel currently stuck in Russia.

When asked about the exact number of people traveling to these countries, Tennakoon stated that they do not have precise figures.

However, authorities have received 288 complaints related to these travels, said the Minister.

Tennakoon also noted that routes taken by Former Sri Lankan military personnel to travel to Russia are complex, as some individuals use different countries as transit points before reaching Russia, making it difficult to monitor their movements.

Regarding talks with the Russian government, Tennakoon explained that the foreign ministry is handling the matter.

Tennakoon confirmed that visas for those in Russia would have been issued by the Russian embassy in Sri Lanka, and noted that the Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Ministry is working on these avenues.

The Sri Lankan State Minister of Defense has officially confirmed that 16 retired military personnel have lost their lives in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Sri Lankan State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon said that authorites are gathering crucial information from the security forces, which includes details about the retired armed forces members who have traveled to Russia and Ukraine, their dates of departure, contacts, coordinating individuals, and organizations. 

A special Ministry of Defense phone number, 0112401146, has been designated to receive urgent information. 

The Ministry of Defense, the Police Criminal Investigation Department, and the Intelligence Division are conducting extensive investigations. Several individuals, including a retired senior military officer, have already been arrested, disclosed the State Minister.