The Government yesterday announced that steps would be taken to provide Cabinet-approved relief with effect from April to the dependents of war heroes who were killed or disabled due to terrorist activities.
The two Cabinet Memoranda submitted by the President with seven proposals to provide relief to war heroes were approved by the Cabinet at its meeting held on 27 April.
The President has instructed the Ministry of Defence to take steps to pay the proposed relief from the date of approval.
1. In the case of widows of married members of the Armed Forces/Police who have died as a result of terrorist activities, the total amount of wages and allowances that should be received by the deceased member upon the completion of 55 years shall be paid to the widow without any change.
2. In the case of the parents of married/unmarried members of the Armed Forces/Police who have died as a result of terrorist activities; a monthly allowance of Rs. 25,000 shall be paid to the parents during their lifetime, from the date the member turns 55.
3. The lifetime salaries and allowances of the members of Armed Forces/Police who were disabled due to terrorist activities would be paid to their dependents following the death of disabled members.
4. In the case of members of the Armed Forces/Police who were disabled while engaging in operations that may not be related to terrorist activities, a committee will assess the relevant situation. After an assessment, the committee will ensure that the disabled members or the dependents of the deceased will be paid the salary and the allowances the relevant member is entitled to at the age of 55 unchanged.
5. A committee will look into the incidents of members of Armed Forces/Police being disabled/killed while engaging in post-war activities (such as clearing of explosive devices). The Committee will provide them and their dependents the salary and the allowances they are entitled to at the age of 55 unchanged throughout their life.
6. In an instance when members of the Armed Forces/Police die before reaching the age of 55 after retirement from the service due to a disability as a result of terrorist activities, it will be assumed that they have lived until the age of 55. Accordingly, their salaries and allowances entitled up to the age of 55 will be paid to their dependents.
7. The salaries and allowances of a member (up to the age of 55) who has died by suicide due to mental illness caused by disability as a result of terrorist activities would be paid to their dependents.
The war heroes sacrificed their lives or became disabled to safeguard the freedom and independence of the nation for all communities in the country. Therefore, it is the responsibility and duty of the Government to provide all possible facilities that can be provided for them, as stated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his policy statement ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
(Source: Daily FT)