Condition of hunger-striking POWs, political prisoners worsens

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 November 2015, 16:28 GMT]
At least 31 Prisoners of War and political prisoners are either forcefully admitted to prison hospitals or their health has seriously declined as their fast-unto-death campaign reached the 5th day on Thursday at New Magazine prison in Welikade, Bogambara prision in Kandy and in Anuradhapura prison, former parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told journalists in Jaffna today. There are Tamils from all the districts, up-country, Muslims and even Sinhalese who are alleged or accused for their involvement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) among the prisoners who are on hunger-strike, informed legal sources in Colombo told TamilNet. A wide-scale shut-down is to take place in the country of Eezham Tamils on Friday demanding release of the POWs and the political prisoners currently jailed in the prisons of genocidal Sri Lanka.

Mr Suresh Premachandran blamed the Sri Lankan State for gambling with the lives of the political prisoners. The SL Attorney General's Department on Wednesday released 26 men and 2 women on bail. Among those released, there were 6 Sinhala criminal prisoners who were serving sentences for narcotic smuggling, robbery and murder, Mr Premachandran said condemning the SL State for its sinister act of characterising the Tamil political prisoners as criminals.

All the 22 political prisoners were those who had been detained within the last 18 months, he further said.

They are still regarded as criminals who have to present themselves every two weeks in Colombo. “Imagine the difficulties of spending four to five thousand rupees on each travel from remote districts to Colombo,” the leader of the EPRLF said while addressing a press conference in Jaffna.

The Government of Sri Lanka was release false information to the outside world as well as to the media in North-East and in the South. Tamil journalists should not be carried away by the SL propaganda, he asked the reporters in Jaffna.

The SL Attorney General's Department has admitted that there are more than 116 POWs and political prisoners whose judicial proceedings have been dragged for several years ranging between 8 and 18 years. They should be released without delay, the TNA politician demanded. He also questioned what promises the leaders of the Sri Lankan Government in South had extended to Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan of the TNA and on what basis Mr Sampanthan had urged the political prisoners to abandon their previous hunger strike.

No decision has been made on the already expedited cases in which 48 persons have been confirmed as serving severe imprisonment.

There are also another 66 individuals, whose cases were being dealt by various Magistrates Courts in the island. The SL Attorney General's office or the SL government leaders in the South are silent on these issues, Mr Premachandran said.

14 prisoners observing hunger-strike at the New Magazine prison in South have been forcefully admitted to Welikade prison hospital, Premachandran said providing their firstnames.

Ilangko, Kuganathan, Loganathan, and Thanakaran from Jaffna, Kovarthananan from Trincomalee, Kantharegan and Bavanathan Mullaiththeevu and Kirupaharan, Jayalath Silva, Parthipan, Manoharan, Raja, Senthuran and Sebastian from unknown locations were the 14 who have been admitted at the Welikade prison hospital.

Similarly, the health condition of 4 hunger-strikers at Anuradhapura prison has worsened, he said giving their names as Titus fro Ki'linochchi, Nishanthan from Mullaiththevu, Vishal and Gopinath from Jaffna.

The health condition of 13 prisoners from the Bogompara prison has detereorated, he said. There was a Sinhala prisoner from Kandy, a former major rank officer of the SL military (Wickramasinghe), among the prisoners on hunger strike in Kandy.

Up-Country Tamils identified as Rameshkumar, Selvakumar, Suranjith, Sivakumar, Yogarajah, Manoharan hailing from Maaththa'lai, Suntharamay from Kandy, Pushparajah from Lindula, Rubachandran from Thikana and Jayosan, Thevarajah from Ki'linochchi together with Ilangko from Jaffna are also seriously ill, the former parliamentarian told media in Jaffna.


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