The Pensioners’ Association of People’s Bank has appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint an Independent Committee of Inquiry to examine a pension anomaly seriously affecting pensioners who retired after 1996.
District organizations of the Pensioners’ Association have made representations to Governors in the nine provinces urging them to intervene and present appeals made in the same regard by members living in various districts.
Speaking to “The Nation”, President of the Association Tennakoon Rusiripala alleged that the authorities were pettifogging on the issue. “We have been at it since 1996. Several of our members are old. They have got one foot in the grave. They’ve been begging for justice for decades.”
“The Supreme Court, to which we have appealed as a last resort, is more concerned about mediating on how we have a right of access to the law rather than settling this issue. Those who are responsible for this mess are earning lakhs and lakhs every month. We suffer. Where’s the justice in that?”
When asked to explain about the original issue, this is what he had to say: “This was all owing to a decision taken by People’s Bank to implement a controversial pension scheme. None of the other banks implemented it. The government did, but People’s Bank had no right to follow it. In the end there was a massive loss to the bank. All our members were deprived of their pensions.”
The members of the association, which consists of more than 6,000 pensioners, are confident that an independent inquiry will reveal the injustice caused to them. They are hopeful that the matter will be resolved under the “good governance” of the new government.