Cabinet decided yesterday to approve the proposal presented by Minister Sajith Premadasa to grant the pension currently being paid to disabled war heroes to their spouses after their demise, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Daily News. UNF Presidential candidate Premadasa had met the protesting veterans on Monday and assured them that he would act quickly to redress their issues, the most critical being the extension of full pensions to spouses after demise of soldier recipient.
He said that on September 24, Cabinet approval was granted to provide all the members of the Armed Forces, Police and the Special Task Force who have been disabled due to the war, a pension equal to their last salary after their retirement.
“Previously the disabled war heroes were receiving 85% of their salaries. However, after meeting with the President and discussing their grievances, it was agreed to pay them their full salary. Thereafter they demanded that their wives be paid their pension after their demise, to which Minister Sajith Premadasa had assured them he would discuss the matter at the Cabinet meeting. Accordingly, Cabinet approved the proposal to enable the wives of the war veterans to continue to receive their pension even after their demise,” Minister Ranawaka said.
The disabled war heroes had been protesting for 20 days demanding solutions to their issues opposite the Fort Railway Station, while several of them had begun an indefinite fast.
President of National Movement for the Protection of the Rights of War Heroes U.D. Wasantha said that UNP presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa had met with him at the protest site on Monday. He added that the protest had thereafter been called off, based on the promise made by the minister during their meeting. Minister Premadasa had assured the war veterans that their grievances would be presented to Cabinet yesterday. Miinister Ranawaka said that accordingly, Premadasa had honoured his promise to the war veterans and obtained Cabinet approval for their demand.