Don’t Look At Release of Tamil Detainees As A Legal Issue Only: TNA Tells Government

sambanthan 1COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wants the Sri Lankan government to look at the question of releasing the Tamil war-time detainees from a political standpoint, as a measure of ethnic reconciliation, and not just as a legal issue.

TNA spokesman and MP, M.A. Sumanthiran told Express on Friday, that the alliance leader R.Sampanthan has been asking the government to take a “political decision” in the matter and not go by legalities only.

Sumathiran said that the release of the 168 prisoners, 14 of whom are fasting since February 23, has been stalled because the Attorney General (AG) had said that there are legal impediments to their release.

Speaking in parliament on March 8, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera skirted the issue of taking a political decision on the matter and said that the Justice Ministry and the AG had been asked to speed up the legal process.

On replacing the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, Samaraweera said that the Law Commission’s draft new law is now under the consideration of the Justice Ministry.

He further said that an Office of Missing Persons will be established by an act of parliament by March end. This institution will draw on the expertise of the International Committee of the Red Cross. A Lankan team has gone to South Africa to study the Truth Commission established there, Samaraweera said