Written by Tharushan Fernando
10 Nov, 2015 | 9:11 pm
The Commissioner General of Prisons, Rohana Pushpakumara stated that thirty one persons who are held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act will be released on bail on Wednesday.
The AG’s Department has informed us that steps will be taken to grant this group of persons bail, tomorrow, (Wednesday) and starting tomorrow one group will be released. Another group will be released on bail as the second phase and they will be produced in court, and if bail is approved they will be released
Meanwhile, the fast that was launched by a group if inmates seeking their immediate release is continuing. One hundred and forty six (146) persons detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act are engaged in the fast.
The Commissioner General of Prisons said that these suspects are engaged in the fast at the Magazine, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and Dumbara prisons.
The National Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners handed over a letter to the President’s Office.
Sundaram Mahendran of the National Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners said:
Action had not been taken on political prisoners up to date and the inmates had resorted to a fast unto death from the 8th. While discussions were held with the Ministers and MPs, some say that there are no political prisoners in Sri Lanka.
The President can intervene in this. So we handed over a letter seeking the release of all political prisoners
Politicians arrived at the Magazine Prison to meet with the inmates who are engaged in the fast.
TNA MP, D. Siddharthan said:
When I visited the inmates, Minister D.M.Swaminathan and the Secretary to the Prime Minister was there. They had made a pledge that 30 of the 60 inmates will be released and they requested the inmates to call off the fast. However, the inmates seek the release of all and they added that TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan must work to ensure that the Tamil inmates are rescued
Two TNA MPs visited the Batticaloa Prison and engaged in a discussion with the fasting inmates.
Religious programmes were organized at various location for the protection of these inmates.
The matter was also spoken of in the Australian Parliament today. Greens MP Lee Rhiannon stated that the new President, in his election manifesto promised to institute constitutional amendments that would guarantee democracy to Sri Lanka and he has also spoken about reconciliation with the Tamil community.
She also stated that to give true meaning to genuine reconciliation, the culture of impunity and legal limbo of Tamil political prisoners must be brought to an end.
She also noted that when one considers the role of the PTA and the power security and armed forces have in Sri Lanka, one can understand why so many political prisoners are on hunger strike. She also stated that freedom from arbitrary detention is both central to contemporary human rights standards and as long-standing as the Magna Carta, and that the PTA is a blatant violation of this freedom.
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