News in Brief:
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 January 1999, 22:03 GMT]
Tamil political detainees in Kalutara prison begin a hunger strike and logistic difficulties hinder the hand over of the bodies of five Liberation Tigers killed in Jaffna.
Kalutara detainees fast in protest
Thirty one Tamil political detainees are maintaining a protest fast on the roof of the maximum security Kalutara prison, 43 kilometres south of Colombo. They are demanding that Sri Lanka's Attorney General (AG) file charges against them or release them forthwith.
Many of them have been languishing in prison for more than four years as the AG's department is yet to file cases against them.
Twelve of these detainees had started their protest fast on the prison's roof on January 18. The others had joined them in batches until today.
ICRC unable to take bodies
The ICRC informed the LTTE in the Vanni today that it was unable to take the bodies of the five Liberation Tigers who were killed at Koilaakkandy on January 18 due to logistical difficulties said Sri Lankan Army (SLA) sources in Jaffna.
Furthermore, the bodies were too decayed due to the lack of freezer facilities at the Jaffna hospital mortuary.
The Police, however, had stopped the hospital authorities from burying the bodies at state expense this morning on the assumption that the ICRC had already made arrangements for them to be handed over to the LTTE in the Vanni.
ICRC officials were not available for comment this morning as they were away attending a meeting.