First batch of Tamil prisoners to be released Monday – Opposition Leader

Opposition Leader R Sampanthan has said that releasing Tamil prisoners from remand will commence from Monday (November 9) with the release of the first group of 32 prisoners. Speaking to the BBC Sandeshaya Sampanthan said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had conveyed these sentiments.

Following the initial release on the 9th, another 30 inmates will be released in the second batch, he said. The Opposition Leader said he had a discussion on the prisoners release with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday.

Mr. Sampanthan has also discussed the issue with the President Maithripala Sirisena and during the discussions he has asked the President to grant a general amnesty to all LTTE inmates lodged in prisons. The President has assured to look into the matter promptly. He said a committee appointed by the Prime Minister comprising Cabinet Ministers decides releasing the accused prisoners. Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has announced that a number of Tamil political prisoners will be released as soon as possible.

Paying an official visit to Jaffna on Tuesday, Mr. Rajapakshe has said that while the department had been taking steps to release all Tamil political prisoners, certain numbers of them would be released according to the offences committed and on the advice of the Attorney General.