Hartal held in North and East urging release of prisoners held under PTA

Hartal held in North and East urging release of prisoners held under PTA

Hartal held in North and East urging release of prisoners held under PTA

Written by Tharushan Fernando

13 Nov, 2015 | 9:58 pm

A hartal was held in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces on Friday to urge the government to release the suspects who are detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

State institutions, schools, universities, banks, and shops in the North and the east were closed down for the Hartal.

Public transportation was also disrupted and normal life in the areas came to a standstill.

Commissioner General of Prisons, Rohana Pushpakumara stated:

A fast was launched by the detainees who are being held under the prevention of terrorism act on the 8th and it is continuing. They are in good health but eight individuals were admitted to the prison hospital for treatment yesterday. One person is receiving treatment at the Welikada Hospital, but his condition is not serious

A protest was held in Colombo today organised by the Movement to release Political Prisoners demanding the release of the suspects who were held under the PTA. They were granted bail on Wednesday.

UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardhena, at a meeting held in Kosgama on Friday expressed stated:

If individuals who are arrested are released just because the TNA holds a protest, a situation where the judiciary will not be able to operate and a situation where the law of the country is not expected will arise.

Issuing a statement, the Ministry of Justice states that even though the suspects who were not connected to serious offences and detained under the PTA, were released under strict bail conditions, it cannot be considered that they were acquitted.

The Justice Ministry further states that the true situation behind the incident has been made clear to the general public by the government as many have come forward to depict this situation as a serious offence.

The Justice Minister further reiterates that at a time when the country is progressing while solving the allegations raised against it internationally, and at a time when there is reconciliation within the country, the steps taken to mislead the public should be done taking into consideration the future of the country.

The Chief minister of the Northern Province, when he met with the Ambassador of Switzerland Heinz Walker Nederkoorn at his official residence, stated that all possible steps will be taken to ensure the release of the political prisoners.

Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Vigneswaran stated:

We questioned as to why they are not released from the president yesterday as well, and the president stated that the release of these inmates has entangled itself in a complex political process and we will try to initiate all steps to ensure the release of these political detainees and we will not give up.

Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage,Rauf Hakeem noted that we have responsibility under the UNHRC Resolution and we have to focus our attention on cases that had taken a long time, and conclude those cases in a expeditious manner.

He further added that we created a high court system that will address this matter. However recently there were demonstrations demanding the release of these prisoners and the Ggovernment with such responsibility cannot release everyone at once

Leader of the Democratic Front, Sarath Fonseka noted that even if they were in the LTTE, when they spend a long time in prison they have been punished to some extent. He said that perpetrators are not hanged to death because the maximum penalty is imprisonment and thus taking this into consideration, if these individuals have spent ten years or so away from their families, I think it is just for the president to take action.

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