Sulaxan commences hunger-strike with two other political prisoners in Anuradhapura

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2017, 18:13 GMT]
Three Tamil political prisoners, including an Up-Country Tamil, have commenced a continuous hunger-strike at Anuradhapura prison on Sunday objecting the attempts by the SL Attorney General’s Department to transfer their cases away from the High Court in Vavuniyaa to other courts in the South. The SL State, refusing to recognize the Tamil prisoners as political prisoners, wants to process their cases under the so-called Terrorism laws without proper evidences. 30-year-old Sulaxan Mathiyarasan, who has been imprisoned since 18 May 2009 went on a hunger-strike last year and concluded his protest after a promise was extended by D.M. Swaminathan, the SL ‘Resettlement’, ‘Prison Reform’ and Hindu affairs minister, that his case would be expedited without further delay. After witnessing further deceptions, Sulaxan decided earlier this month to launch a fresh hunger-strike.

Two other inmates, implicated together with him in the same case, have also joined him in the continuous hunger strike.

Sulaxan hails from Kara’navaay North in Vadamaraadchi, Jaffna. His father, Azhvaappillay Mathiyarasan, who was an elected civic member in the local council, passed away in 2015 after suffering from illness amidst his attempt to get his son released. 

Two weeks ago, Mrs Mahendran, the mother of Sulaxan met Northern Provincial Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran conveying her son's decision to commence hunger-strike. The mother was pleading with NPC Chief Minister to impress upon the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena to release her son or let a court in North to process the case.

The other two prisoners accompanying Sulaxan are Rasathurai Thiruvarul from 6th Division, Vela’nai West, Jaffna and Ganeshan Tharshan from Navalap-piddi, Kandy.

Following the last round of hunger-strike and the promises extended by SL Minister D.M. Swaminathan, a fresh case was filed against Sulaxan at Vavuniyaa High Court, in which the so-called ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ deployed confessions obtained from other inmates under coercion or torture. The new confessions have been allegedly obtained from inmates who were arrested several years later.

Knowing that the judges who are aware the nature of cases would find it difficult to proceed with confessions lacking credibility, the SL TID was arguing in January 2017 that the cases where ex-LTTE members’ statements were being used, should be moved to courts in the South for ‘security’ reasons.

The SL State has consistently refused to recognize the imprisoned activists who were involved in the armed national liberation struggle of Tamil Eelam as political prisoners. Whilst the former JVP members, who engaged in an armed resistance in the South were recognized as political prisoners in the past, the genocidal State of Sri Lanka has continuously refused to accord that recognition to the Tamil prisoners.


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