Health of hunger-striking Tamil political prisoners worsens

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 October 2015, 23:42 GMT]
At least 20 of around 300 Eezham Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike at 11 prisons in the island have been admitted to hospital by Friday night, according to news sources in Colombo and Jaffna. The prison authorities of genocidal Sri Lanka have refused access to the relatives and rights activists to witness the deteriorating situation of the hunger strikers in the prisons. While ITAK Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran failed to secure tangible results in his meeting with SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, the students and teachers of Jaffna University, together with the relatives of the imprisoned Tamils, have stepped up their mobilisation demanding immediate release of the political prisoners. The Commission For Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, in a statement issued on Friday, has demanded immediate release of the Tamil political prisoners.

The SL prime minister has failed to give any assurance on the release of the prisoners citing he was still awaiting clarification from the Attorney General's Department, TNA sources in Jaffna said.

The protesting mothers of the political prisoners, teachers and students of the Jaffna University and Rev. Fr. S.V.B Mangalaraja of the Commission For Justice & Peace have demanded the SL President Maithiripala Sirisena to consider immediate release of all Tamil political prisoners.



In the meantime, Left Front leader Vickramabahu Karunaratne, who was backing the Srisena - Wickramasinghe alliance in the recent elections, has condemned the new Colombo regime for calling the Tamil political prisoners as criminals.

The ex-members of the LTTE in prison are not criminals. They are political prisoners. After the two JVP insurrections among the Sinhalese, the political prisoners were released. But, Tamils are being treated differently and this is discrimination, Mr Karunaratne said in a press conference held in Colombo this week.

“Keeping [Tamil political] prisoners in the prison and talking about peace, resettlement and about coming into a political settlement is nonsense,” Mr Karunaratne added.

Parents and relatives of the Tamil political prisoners on hunger-strike, gathered for a one day fast in front of Muniyappar temple situated in the esplanade of the Jaffna Fort on Friday.

At the same time, university students and teachers staged a protest at the main entrance of the University of Jaffna. The student leaders condemned the silence from Mr R. Sampanthan and accused the ITAK politicians for not holding the promises made by them when they came seeking votes just a few weeks ago.

“Already, they have backtracked on the demand for international investigations. Now, we are yet to see Mr Sampanthan to demand the SL President to immediately release the political prisoners,” a student leader at Jaffna University told TamilNet.

A section of the student leaders, who were deceived by the hijacked ITAK polity, have now realised the deceptions. They are now prepared for future political mobilisation, the student leader further said.

In the meantime, the political prisoners who fainted during their hunger-strike, have been admitted to military hospitals. The prison authorities were not allowing any visits on Friday in an attempt to censor the details of the on going hunger strike.

Many of the Tamil prisoners on hunger strike have been in the Sri Lankan jails from five to twenty years.


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