Mr Rajendra Vinasithamby
Thank you for this valuable information. The next meeting of the committee appointed by the Solicitor General will take place on the 31st. I will take these matters up then. At the last meeting we sort of reconciled the numbers – 275 was my rough guess, and that was confirmed by the state agencies.
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M A Sumanthiran B Sc LLM
Attorney at Law
Member of Parliament (TNA)
3/1 Daya Road
I am known to all Tamil political prisoners as Rajan Master I don’t belong to any Diaspora organisation.I came in contact with TPPS while helping the families affected by the war.
I trust you will take up the matter with Mr Sampanthan MP and Mr Mano Ganeshan and they would take up with the National service commission.
I give blow some information as a person who know t their situation well. The AGA’S department and the security forces have brought up many charges with out any legal back and intend to keep them in the prison for long time as the trials will take longer and still continue to do that even in the present Government I will give you some example.Many of these TTPS are from poor families and have no means to pay for lawyers and they are in the prison for long time,those who can afford to pay the lawyers get acquitted or
given reduced sentences depend on the capability of the lawyer.
Case1 A Gramasekawar/Gramanilathari by the name of Malalasekaram is in prison for nearly 5 years and he was acquitted from his charges last week and AGA’s office has now brought up another charge against him, and filed a new case further information can be taken from his lawyer Thavrasa.0777370516
Case 2 A TPP by the name of Mohan has been in the person for more than 6 years and he was given 3 years sentences 1 year back 6 months after that AGA’S office has brought up a new charge against him and filed a new case. Mr Laksman Perera appeared for him.
Case no 3 Kamalanthan a father of 4 children was given 5 years sentences 4 years back in A’pura HC then AGA’s office filed a new case against him last year and This family has spend 5 Laks for lawyers fees from a loan taken from the bank. Mr Mahinda Jayawardane Appeared for the second case got him 5yrs sentences but set off against 5 years already served for the earlier case.
I have given below some more suggestions and action plan.
The Tamil political prisoners who were arrested and charged under PTA and under the emergency regulation can be categorized as follows,and released.
1. Those whose cases are concluded and sentenced for less than 5 years and have served more than half of their sentences. They could be considered for Presidential pardon.
2. Those who will fall in the above category in the cases to be concluded in near future and sentenced could be also considered in the same way to considered for pardon once they have completed serving half their sentences.
3. Those whose cases are concluded and sentenced for 20 years or more or life sentences.
These cases were heard and sentences were given without a proper legal representation from prisoner, as they can’t afford to pay their lawyers. CHRD and HHR had to arrange lawyers with in their budget for hundreds of prisoners. They are in prisoners are in prison from 7 years to 20 years some even more so they could be considered for Presidential pardon.
4. Those who are not been charged as they are no evidence against them they were just arrested on suspension, detained in Boosa and other detention centers.
The above category 1, 3 and 4 of nearly of hundred Tamil political prisoners could be considered for presidential pardon by the Excellency for Sinhala and Hindu new year or for Wesak festival. Their details could be made available to the Ministry of Justice by the prison Authorities .
5 The prisoners whose cases are ongoing in the courts many of them have been in prison from five to fifteen years many of these cases could not be heard and finished as many of them have cases in two to three high courts with five or more charges, under heavy section. Most of them have been charged under their own conviction under torture. The security forces under the previous defense secretary have framed these charges as revenge to the Tamil youth for obvious reasons.
These prisoners could be asked to admit guilty of one of the offences and other charges could be dropped and given a reduced sentences considering the period they were in the prison.
These prisoners are in prison for such a long time as they can’t afford to pay a experienced lawyer, those who have support of their families and could afford a experience lawyers had negotiated with AGA’S office had got many charges dropped and accepted guilty of one of the charges and had received reduced sentences. Once they have served some period of their sentences they could be considered for Presidential pardon.
The important point to be considered in the prisoners under category five is The High court judges in these cases have shown willingness to hear the cases under normal circumstance if AGA’S office could change them from Emergency regulation to normal circumstance. The judges have given time to defense lawyers to negotiate this matter with the AGA’s office but AGA’S office considered only when certain lawyers approach them in this matter.
Please find below some examples of cases
1. Prisoner by the name Sigharasa was given fifty years of sentences by the Srilankan high court and The lawyer by the name of Kanesahalingham took up the cases to the European court of Human right and the court found him not guilty and recommended compensation for him but he is in prison for more than fifteen years.
2. Prisoner by the name of Mahendran was given life sentences for an offence he has committed as child soldier by the high court and no body came forwarded to appeal against this judgement in the court of Appeal he is in prison for more than fifteen years.He committed
this offence when he was under the command working as body guard for Karuna Amman.
3. The prisoner Sathees kumar was given life sentences when he was represented by a junior lawyer in the Vavuniya high court now his cases heard in the court of appeal and represented by the court of appeal lawyer
4. A Tamil youth from Kandy says he was charged nine years back and his trials have not started.
5. A Tamil young lady was given twenty years sentences in the Motragala high court about two years back and court of appeal found her not guilty and ordered releases her.