Sri Lanka Tamil party asks government to release Tamil political prisoners before diaspora festival

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called on the Government to free Tamil political prisoners before holding a festival for the diaspora in Sri Lanka.

Former TNA parliamentarian from Batticaloa District, P. Ariyanenthiran has said that the Tamils cannot accept holding a festival for the Tamil diaspora before the government takes measures to release the Tamil political prisoners in jail.

The government has kept promising that they will release the Tamil political prisoners but they have not been freed yet, the former MP noted.

922976_371507369624796_475705882_nA recent report released by the Oakland Institute says the Sri Lankan government has not yet proposed a timeline or monitoring mechanism to ensure the release of Tamil political prisoners.

Ariyanenthiran said the TNA welcomes the proposal to hold a festival for the diaspora but cannot accept that priority has been given for such an event without releasing the Tamil political prisoners.

In order to encourage diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts in Sri Lanka, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has proposed to organize a diaspora festival in Colombo later this year.