The Government emphasized that the tense situation occurred yesterday (07) at the Presidential Secretariat premises and the area around it, is a conspiracy against the Government, which intended to create a division between the Government and the War Heroes as well as to cause inconvenience to the Government, despite the agreement to provide the pension benefits to the differently abled War Heroes.
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, the President had presented a special Cabinet paper to the Cabinet four months ago, to provide these demands of the war heroes. Subsequently, the decision of the Treasury was obtained by the Ministry of Defence.
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.
This 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.
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 the President.
When the demonstrators carried out their protest in front of the Presidential Secretariat, a discussion being held at the Presidential Secretariat with a foreign delegation and the Security Forces took steps to control the trespass of demonstrators to prevent them from entering the premises of the President’s Office.
A group of conspirators wanted to put the Government in difficult situation, putting forward the demands of the retired war heroes and although during the past few days they made attempts in this regard, it is apparent that the Security Forces and the Police have fulfilled their duties understanding the scenario.
The Ministry of Defence issued a press release on November 06, 2016 promising to pay pension benefits in addition to the monthly salary and allowances and disability allowance from next February.