LTTE demands release of Tamil political detainees
[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 October 2002, 12:21 GMT]
The political wing of the Liberation Tigers Thursday called on the Sri Lankan government of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to “take urgent and immediate steps” to secure the release of Tamil political detainees who have undertaken a fast unto death since October 1 over their continued incarceration. In a statement issued by its political headquarters in Kilinochchi, the LTTE said the release of the detainees would boost the prevailing atmosphere of peace and goodwill and urged Tamil MPs and human rights groups to take measures to bring this about.
“Hundreds of innocent youth who were arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations have been languishing without trial in various prisons in southern Sri Lanka. They embarked on various protest campaigns including fasts unto death demanding their release but called these [protests] off on assurances from ministers that they would be released soon,” the statement said.
“The detainees are now frustrated and dismayed the Sri Lankan government has failed to take action to release them, even though a climate of peace, normalcy and goodwill prevails across the island,” the LTTE statement said. “Therefore the detainees are determined to carry on their fast unto death campaign until the government takes concrete action to secure their release.”
“We urge the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe to take immediate and concrete steps to facilitate the release of all Tamil political prisoners without further delay,” the LTTE said.
“Such action, we believe, will help to consolidate the current atmosphere of peace and goodwill,” the Tigers said.
“The LTTE has also called upon the Tamil National Alliance and Tamil human rights organisations to join hands and to take constructive measures to secure the release of these innocent youth,” the LTTE statement added.