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Sri Lankan army warns ‘malicious elements’ against ‘vilification’ of military

The Sri Lankan army warned that “certain elements with malicious and vested interests and hidden agendas” were engaging in “organized vilification” of the military in a press release last week.

The military claimed that a campaign was being carried out against the army “with the motive of demoralizing, and misleading its soldiers and tarnishing its image”.

“In the most recent past, it has been done by way of spreading or publishing unfounded and fabricated stories of vicious nature in all types of media when it relates to foreign allowances, rations, payments for disabled War Heroes,” it added.

The press release went on to claim that it was clearing a backlog of Rs 200 m in arrears earlier as foreign allowances for Sri Lankan troops engaged in overseas training assignments and detailed terms with regards to a new lunch scheme for troops which has reportedly seen a cut in their salary.

The latest statement from the military comes as defense spending continues to dominate Sri Lanka’s budget, which was passed in December 2017. Sri Lanka’s 2018 budget sees defence spending maintain the highest allocation, with a 2.3% increase from last year.