"Remove PTA from Statute Book" -Sampanthan
[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 10:38 GMT]
"The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) should no longer continue in the Statute Book," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group, in a letter to the Prime Minister. "We would strongly urge that the rigorous impact of the PTA on the lives of Tamil detainees and people should not continue," he stressed.
Recalling the talks held between him and the delegation of the TNA parliamentarian on March 7 at the parliamentary complex and the assurance given by him, Mr.Sampanthan appealed to the Prime Minister that "you are no doubt aware that there is much unrest amongst persons held in custody, particularly those held for longer periods of time under the PTA Please take prompt steps to implement the assurance given by you."
"In the present situation of cessation of war, and efforts towards the achievement of normalcy in the widest possible sense, there is a legitimate feeling amongst persons held in custody and their families, that there should be a positive change even in regard to their situation," said Mr.Sampanthan.
He requested that the accused in cases, which are continuously postponed without being concluded due to the non-attendance of vital witnesses, should be released immediately. In these cases the prosecution should intimate to court its inability to proceed with the case so that the accused could be discharged. Wherever cases are continued, the accused should be granted bail and that the State should in all appropriate cases extended its co-operation for bail to be granted.