The National, Tuesday March 4th, 2014
By JUNIOR UKAHA
A GROUP of ex-servicemen in Lae are calling on the government to clarify the delay in processing their outstanding retrenchment benefits.
The ex-soldiers, who are part of a group of 1,360, made this call last Friday in support of their colleagues in Port Moresby who aired similar grievances on EMTV.
A number of ex-servicemen, including the widows of their colleagues, gathered at Top Town and demanded that their remaining benefits be paid.
The group was made redundant in 2001 following a “retrenchment and downsizing exercise” carried out by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force under the Australian government.
Spokesperson Sgt Keith Kaluga said the matter had dragged on since 2001 when the exercise started in all defence establishments in PNG.
Kaluga claimed that they received seven components of the agreed nine components.
“The government has not paid us our housing and hardship allowances,” he said.
Among the payments, the ex-servicemen in the group already received include ex-gratia payments, resettlement advances, repatriation expenses and contract gratuities.
“In 2012, some of our comrades in Port Moresby stormed the Morauta Haus in Port Moresby because of frustration over the delay of these two payments,” Kaluga said.
“We have already made a submission and it’s with the government.
“We simply ask the government to honour the agreement signed in 2001 and pay our dues.”