Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary General V Anandasangaree has written to President Maithripala Sirisena urging him to release all political prisoners.
Anandasangaree said he doe not see any justifiable reason for their prolonged detention when it is clear that if charged for any specific offence hey could have by this time served the full period of sentence and gone free.
“Once again I reiterate that immediate action should be taken in respect of the release of the Political Prisoners detained in our prisons, for lengthy periods without any trial, very many for untold reasons and hardly any for specific reasons. Many of them had been taken to courts a good number of times regularly and taken back to their prisons without facing any trial, for unjustifiable reasons such as absence of witnesses, failure to receive any reports, case not filed etc. It is wrong for anyone to say that they are not political prisoners. In my view they are very much political prisoners. There is no doubt about it. If not, why should they be detained without trial for many years,” Anandasangaree said in the letter.
He said he is of the view that the prisoners are detained deliberately for some unknown reason, may be best known to the Government.
“The Leader of the Opposition, who was dealing in this matter, had said that they are kept in detention for political reasons. If it is so, what is the political reason they are detained for, when almost all political parties including the JVP, religious organizations, the retired Army Commander during whose period these people had been arrested, have demanded their unconditional release. Above all you as Head of the State had pardoned the offender who came to harm you. May I ask you, Your Excellency, whether that act of yours will not amount to discrimination. Pardon me If I am wrong. What I mean is that the kith and kin of the other prisoners who were not given the option to go free will feel terribly sad. The only option they have is to weep in silence,” he said.
Anandasangaree urged the President to release the political prisoners under a General Amnesty. (Colombo Gazette)