Ex-servicemen demand payments

National, Normal

The National – Friday, February 11, 2011

Four elderly men stormed into The National reception yesterday pouring out their grievance on how the state had been unfair with them for 29 years.
The four are part of the 188 Group who were legitimate and original claimants of the ex-servicemen entitlement payouts.
It is understood that the 188 Group Ex-Servicemen were the first lot of military personnel who were forced to retrench from the PNG Defence Force in 1982 during the downsizing exercise.
According to one of the ex-servicemen, Hermann Sariwa, they brought the state to court in 1989, won and were told that they would be paid more than K9 million accordingly by the public servants formula.
He added that in 1993, the state paid them K2.5 million and the outstanding balance was to be paid in 1994 from the budget.
However, to date, the 188 Group had not received anything from the government.
Sariwa said they had appealed year after year and had given many submissions but had not received any response.
“Fifty-nine of our comrades have passed away after 29 years, the negligence of the government has caused us unnecessary sufferings and complications in life for us and our families,” he said.
He said the three current approved ex-servicemen groups by the state came from nowhere, adding the 188 Group was genuine because it was bound by a national executive council decision and court order to be paid.
“We want the government to give us our outstanding balance with an 8% interest, consumer price index adjustments and hardship claims for the past 23 years we have suffered,” he said.