LTTE Magazine prison detainees on hunger strike

A group of around 43 LTTE detainees commenced a hunger strike at the Colombo Magazine Prison yesterday, according to the Prison Commissioner.

These detainees are said to have commenced the strike demanding that their cases be expedited.

Meanwhile, last month, eight Tamil political prisoners at the Anuradhapura prison, launched a hunger strike demanding that they be released following a quick rehabilitation programme.

A number of Tamil political prisoners are still in prison for years under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), without charges being filed against them.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Daily News, TNA –MP Dharmalingam Sidharthan said the TNA leadership had met with the Justice Minister on Tuesday and held discussions regarding the release of these Tamil political prisoners.

He said that the Justice Minister was in favour of releasing a few of the prisoners, but the TNA would not accept that proposal as it would be unfair to the others.

“These prisoners are lamenting in prisons for 10 to 11 years without trial under the PTA. I met with the prime Minister as well and he assured that he would discuss this issue with the Attorney General and seek his opinion. However, nothing seems to be happening.”

Sidharthan noted that the government gave an assurance to the UN and the TNA as well that they would release these political prisoners. “The Tamil people voted for the government having placed a lot of faith in them, but now the Tamil people are losing faith in the government. They are even losing faith in the TNA because of this situation. In fact during the Rajapaksa regime, they released over 12,000 Tamil political prisoners similar to those still in prison. The Tamils voted for this government and I hope the government will honour their pledge to them.”

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