Thu 29 Aug 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,Military
The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Defense announced in the Parliament on August 28 that veterans who sustained permanent disabilities while serving in the military receive only MMK 30000 (USD 31) per annum as support.
Three MPs of the Lower House called for providing better support and providing decent means of livelihood to disabled veterans and their family members.
Deputy Minister General Kyaw Nyut replied to the three MPs that even veterans aged above 75 receive support of only MMK 20000 (USD 21) per annum.
At present, some disabled veterans make a living by selling books and photos in different places.
“It is difficult for disabled veterans to get jobs. They are struggling to provide education and health care to their families”, U Sai Than Naing, MP from Papon, Karen State pointed out in the Parliament.
The Deputy Minister responded that there are over 200000 veterans in Myanmar. The government is also building houses for them through the U Paing Myanmar Economic Holding Limited, established by high ranking military officers. He added that they are providing MMK 10 million in cash and 1000 bags of cement monthly.
However, the Deputy Minister did not provide details of the rank of the retired officers who will receive housing.
The law for supporting disabled veterans and family members of soldiers who die in the line of duty was promulgated by President Thein Sein on March 30, 2012.
If a soldier have 60% or more disability, he is entitled to medical care. The promulgated law states that if a government authority (or) organization approves that a soldier has served his/her duty and have sustained disabilities, they have the right to receive support.
The law was promulgated a year and five months ago. But the law cannot be implemented as by-laws have not been published till date.
U Tin Maung Oo, Lower House representative from Shwe Pyi Thar stated in the Parliament, “If our next generation witnesses the difficulties that veterans are facing in trying to make ends meet, it will discourage them from joining the army in the future. But if they saw that the veterans live a comfortable life, they will join the army. Therefore, I suggest, that we should ensure some kind of guarantee for soldiers”.
The Ministry of Defense receives the second highest budget allocation among all Ministries of over MMK 2 million for expenses.