I am inundated with requests every day, from ex-servicemen who have suffered under the previous regime, who want their cases re-examined the requested redress immediately made to them. The follow up calls on status reports is unending.
If one did not understand the history, one would merely assume none of their grievances had any merit. However it is become quite apparent to me how callous the previous administration of the Rajapakses were to people who they believed rightly or wrongly not to be their supporters. These are to soldiers who fought and got injured in the course of their duty, something we would never believe if we did not know the truth. So much for protecting the forces, ex-servicemen that is just a myth.
Ironically this administration has already undertaken policy turnarounds that return the dignity of the forces the Rajapakses have destroyed with the imminent removal of 18,000 from cleaning duty, and construction work for UDA. Actually it is not any different to slave labor.
I digress from the point I am trying to make. Each of these hundreds of cases has to carefully examined, due to the possibility of a few where the bona fides need checking. The Ministry is overwhelmed with the volume of these requests, and the infrastructure is still of people of the old regime, to whom if these files are sent, will purposely sit on them, to discredit their superiors.
From what I know at present it is just the famous 10 that Sarath Fonseka intervened upon and had reinstated that have got their jobs and ranks back and there are thousands in the waiting list for similar reviews of their cases.
I trust that the new Commander of the Army, will (as he is one who has also received justice after being put out to pasture in Russia, as he was more senior to the retiring Commander) understand this pressing need, and ensure the sections under his command that look into each and every claim for unfair dismissal fairly, and come up with as speedy a resolution as possible in these cases. I also believe if there is a central depository for such claims that it is better rather than some who go via the elected Politicians, hoping for a speedier resolution that they practically cannot do except by breaking internal procedures, in much the same way that orders were issued by the previous regime, WITHOUT any recourse to justice or fair play. The sooner we depoliticize this process, the better it is for claimants to understand we no longer live in a world where only favorites rule, only the deserving instead.