[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 November 2015, 07:38 GMT]
Following Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s request to call off the hunger strike with a promise to undertake a global campaign for their release, the prisoners of war and political prisoners in the SL prisons on Tuesday have called off their hunger strike. After Justice Wigneswaran’s visit to New Magazine prison on Monday, D.M. Swaminathan, the newly upgraded SL Minister of ‘Prison Reforms’, was also visiting the prisoners with the offer of sending around 70 prisoners to ‘military rehabilitation’ instead of releasing them with the recognition of ‘political prisoners’. The remaining prisoners have set December 15 as ultimatum before commencing their final fast-unto-death. The political prisoners have assigned the responsibility of advancing their cause to the Northern Provincial Council and the Tamil Diaspora.
During the absence of Tamil political leaders, who have failed to advance the cause of the hunger strikers, Tamil-speaking SL minister was deployed by the Colombo regime to deceive a section of the prisoners to seek ‘military rehabilitation’ through appealing in writing to SL President Maithiripala Sirisena.
However, more than 40 of around 110 prisoners who had appealed for the so-called military rehabilitation were declined the offer as the SL State remained firm in not recognising the status of the prisoners involved in the war of Tamil independence as political prisoners. In addition, a section of the prisoners on hunger strike were firm in not applying for ‘military rehabilitation’.
SL President Maithiripala Sirisena has earlier claimed his share of command responsibility for the massive onslaught on Mu’l’livaaykkaal in May 2009. He has not been prepared to declare the prisoners involved in the war of independence or those who were alleged of assisting the freedom movement as political prisoners.