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SL urges Russia to stop sending Lankan mercenaries to battlefront

SL urges Russia to stop sending Lankan mercenaries to battlefrontColombo, May 30 (SocialNews.XYZ) Sri Lanka has urged Russia to immediately stop sending Lankan ex-military personnel, now serving as mercenaries in the war against Ukraine, to the warzone.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya said on Thursday that the Lankan government has made an official request in this regard till a decision is made after a meeting between Russian diplomats and Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry.

Balasuriya said that 455 complaints have been received so far with regard to Sri Lankans who have been fighting for Russia.


"So far, 16 Sri Lankans have gone missing while 37 were reported injured," he said, adding that "the figures could be much higher than this".

Unconfirmed reports have said that more than 200 Sri Lankans fighting in Russia may have died and hundreds of them are being treated in Russian hospitals.

The reports also indicated that nearly 1,000 Sri Lankan ex-soldiers who earlier fought in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for 26 years have now been lured to join mercenaries fighting for Russia.

Balasuriya said that it was difficult to know the exact number of Sri Lankans who had gone to fight in Russia as many of them have gone via different countries.

"Some of them have gone through nefarious agents after paying large sums of money," he said.

The country's security agencies have launched a probe into a human smuggling racket to send ex-soldiers to the Russia-Ukraine war and have arrested several suspects, including a retired army official.

The Sri Lankan government has also made it mandatory to get the Defence Ministry's clearance for any ex-military men leaving for Russia.

"Russia will now require Sri Lanka Defence Ministry's clearance for visit visas issued to ex-servicemen," Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry posted on X.

"We addressed the urgent situation of Sri Lankans being deployed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and agreed on immediate steps to resolve these issues," he added.

A Sri Lankan delegation comprising officials from the Foreign and Defence Ministries is set to visit Moscow from June 5-7 to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, the Russian Ambassador in Colombo said on Thursday that Moscow is ready to have peace talks with Ukraine but the "puppet regime" in Kiev is not ready for it.

Source: IANS

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SL urges Russia to stop sending Lankan mercenaries to battlefront

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