Ex-servicemen plea for recognition

Momase, Normal


A GROUP of men, who consider themselves defenders of the national flag, are making a plea to national leaders to settle  all outstanding entitlements due to them.
These are ex-service military personnel based in Lae, Morobe province,  made up of two groups – those having served in the army for 20 years and those who served at least eight years.
Spokesman of the group, retired major William Wareka, said on Tuesday that they were part of many groups who were patiently waiting for their entitlements.
Mr Wareka said the latest responses they received from the Government were for those who had served during the colonial administration.
“All necessary documentation had been completed,” he said.
“They were only advised to wait for a 6% bonus from the Australian government which would be included for the numbers of years they served in the army.”
For those who were retrenched, the response from the Government was that payments were due to be processed, he said.
Mr Wareka said last Friday, one of colonial-era soldiers passed away at Mumeng in Bulolo district.
Ex-corporal Sambong Warag had served for 27 years after enlisting in 1954.
The ex-soldiers, based in Lae, are part of more than 6,500 former soldiers.
The group said they appreciated the work done by the Office of the Attorney-General regarding their entitlements.
However, they said the wait was “too long” and  a lot of them had died and were buried in Lae because they did not have the money to send them for burial in their villages.