Two Indians recruiting Lanka’s ex-servicemen for Russia-Ukraine war


MP Dayasiri Jayasekera informs House:

By Saman Indrajith

Parliament was yesterday informed that two Indians were recruiting ex-Sri Lankan servicemen to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war. SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said the leading operator had identified himself as a lawyer while his brother called himself a doctor.

They were in touch with ex-servicemen of Sri Lanka and offering them jobs as general camp helpers for either Ukraine or Russia, Jayasekera said. “But once they reach either Russia or Ukraine, they are not rostered for general camp duties; they are made to fight. So, Lankan ex-servicemen end up shooting one another from Russian and Ukrainian sides, the MP said, adding that a Lankan ex-serviceman, by the name of Kusantha Gunawardena had gone missing. He had been recruited as a general camp helper and sent to a Donetsk-region camp identified as BL/Y/41698/NO3.

There he had been deployed to work in a military tank which came under attack by Ukrainian drones , Jayasekera said. Two of his colleagues were killed but Gunawardena survived the attack. “However, there is no more information about this soldier. Now, he is missing,” Jayasekera said.

These ex-servicemen are lured through online and social media advertisements, Jayasekera said. “There are reports that a major is in custody for his involvement in enticing ex-servicemen to fight in Russia. Another former officer’s name, too, has been mentioned regarding this. Each ex-serviceman has been asked to pay Rs 1.8 million each to the racketeers to secure the jobs.

Leader of the House Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the government would respond to the matter soon.

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that there were several investigations in progress by several agencies, including the police, military as well as the Foreign Ministry. There are reports of Sri Lankan ex-servicemen fighting in the Russian and Ukrainian armies as mercenaries. The police have received information that the recruitments are being conducted by institutions operating as employment agencies. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles would appraise the House of the progress of those investigations on Thursday, Minister Rajapakshe said.

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