Maithiri Vs Ranil – Tamil Political Prisoners will NOT be Released by the 7th!

  • President Maithiri Srisena said that all the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released by the 7th of November.
  • Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that NONE of the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released for now.
  • Law and Order and Prison Reforms Minister Tilak Marapana said he hoped that the Tamil Political Prisoners detainees could be released before the Deepavali festival on November 10, 2015.

A group of Tamil Political detainees were presented to Court today and most of them were re-remanded after they refused to accept an offer to undergo rehabilitation.

The detainees, who call themselves “political prisoners” but are not recognized as such by the Government, said that the court, Government and Tamil National Alliance will be held responsible for their lives if they are not freed unconditionally.

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told Parliament today that there are over 200 political prisoners in the country.

He said that while the Government does not recognize these people as Tamil political prisoners, most of them are Tamil political prisoners.

Sumanthiran said that President Maithripala Sirisena had given the prisoners an assurance that they will be released by November 7. However the MP said that as of today there was no progress to be seen and the Government must act fast.

Meanwhile some of the prisoners were brought to the Colombo Magistrates Court today hand-cuffed and linked to each other using a chain.

While leaving court some of them said that they were offered rehabilitation but only two of them accepted the offer while the others refused and sought their release.

Those who rejected the offer to undergo rehabilitation said that President Maithripala Sirisena, the Prisons Commissioner and parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran will need to take responsibility if any harm comes to their lives.

The prisoners had earlier staged a fast onto death but they suspended it after the President gave an assurance he will address their issue by November 7. Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was with the inmates when the assurance was conveyed.

Sumanthiran told Parliament today that the President had assured that apart from those facing heinous crimes, the other Tamil political prisoners will be released by November 7.

The Tamil political prisoners have been in jail for more than TEN YEARS and most of them have not been charged or have been accused of minor offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. 

Police take a long time to complete investigations and to file action against suspects and that cases drag on for more than TEN years.

  • President Maithiri Srisena said that all the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released by the 7th of November.
  • Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that NONE of the Tamil Political Prisoners will be released for now.
  • Law and Order and Prison Reforms Minister Tilak Marapana said he hoped that the Tamil Political Prisoners detainees could be released before the Deepavali festival on November 10, 2015.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the modernized prison near the Pannai lagoon in Jaffna on Saturday, Minister Tilak Marapana said the country’s prisons had about 18,000 detainees, but most of them were not those who should have been detained.

The minister said several of the Tamil detainees had been put in the jail for minor offences or for want of legal aid. He stressed the need to focus special attention on them.

mahindaand ranilThe Tamil political prisoners suspects on remand without charges being filed against them should be released. If they are considered a threat to law and order, they should be ordered to report to the police in the respective areas at regular intervals. The suspects in cases that have been pending for years could be released on bail