Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday assured that the release of LTTE suspects who were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act would not be a threat to National Security .
Addressing a media conference at the Parliament premises, Minister Rajapakshe said that the general public should not panic over the release of LTTE suspects, as the government has taken the entire responsibility of releasing these suspects.
Minister Rajapakshe said that currently there are 204 detainees, suspected to have been involved in terrorist activities and held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, after 39 suspects were granted bail on November 11 and 16.
“At present there are about 56 prisoners who have been convicted in the High Courts. In addition to that there are 124 suspects whose investigations are under progress before indictments being filed before the High Courts. There are 24 suspects whose investigations are not yet completed.” he said.
He also said that there are 20 suspects who have expressed their willingness to plead for lesser offences. Once they plead guilty to the lesser offence they will be subjected to an imprisonment period and a rehabilitation period. Prior to the present scenario, in recent history there had been many instances where the governments have released LTTE suspects.
“By an order made by then Attorney General Mohan Peiris onJanuary 22 a few days prior to the Presidential Election 2010, 140 suspects had been bailed out. Prior to that in February and August in 2012, the Attorney General had given directions to release 390 suspects.” He said.
Minister Rajapskshe also said that the officials of the AttorneyGeneral’s Department had visited the Boossa camp and interviewed the suspects. After that they released these 390 suspects.
“Out of which 306 were released by the orders made by Galle Magistrate and another 84 suspects were released by the orders of the Colombo Magistrate and they were not released on bail but released outright. Even the files relating to their commission of offences have not been submitted to theAttorney General’s Department. Even the three suspects including a suicide bomber who were taken into the custody for attempting to kill former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also been released during the previous regime. ” he said.
He also added that there had been 12,000 front line fightersof the LTTE who had been taken into the custody and who were released after rehabilitation. “We are not blaming the previous government for the release of these suspects by mentioning these things. It is merely to explain the real situation to the people of this country. It is due o various reasons that they have released these carders and suspects.” He said.
The present government is looking forward to a long lasting peace and reconciliation and also a conducive environment for a long lasting reconciliation. “That is why the government took this decision”, the Minister emphasized.