Tamil political prisoners urge strong outside efforts to secure their release

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 April 2016, 06:15 GMT]
Tamil political prisoners in Anuradhapura prison told a delegation of Mannaar Citizens' Committee and a Northern Provincial Council member from Mannaar who were visiting them at Anuraadhapura prison on the traditional New Year Day on Thursday that they had lost all the hopes in the Colombo regime, which had come to power using the votes of Tamils. The regime is adamant in not taking a principled approach to their release. In the meantime, the political prisoners, who met the delegation from Mannaar told TamilNet over the phone that they had urged the visiting NPC councillor to impress upon the Chief Minister of the NPC and other councillors to also address the plight of Tamil political prisoners with Up-Country Tamil origin languishing in Anuradhapura prison.

The political prisoners said they were happy to see the delegation visiting them and urged the activists and the grassroot sections of the Tamil politicians and rights activists to expose the injustice of the ‘Sri Lankan’ judiciary by waging a legal battle against their continued detention.

Mr Antony Sagayam, the former deputy chairman of Mannaar Citizens' Committee and who represented the TNA at Mannaar Divisional Council as its Deputy Chairman and TNA NPC Councillor from Mannaar Dr Gnanaseelan, said they agreed with the message given to them by the political prisoners that there needs to be a stronger and transparent effort on the legal side as a matter of urgent priority.

“The SL State was deploying divide and rule tactics even against us inside the prison. The Tamil political prisoners from Up-Country background are being systematically neglected. We should not forget that they were with us side by side in Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu,” a political prisoner from Jaffna in the SL prison told TamilNet.

“There is no concrete evidence against most of us to keep us imprisoned. There are some of us have no charge filed in the courts. We are kept as scapegoats, just for the sake of keeping some Tamils in the prison,” the prisoner further said.

The continued injustice coming from all fronts also includes the UN Human Rights High Commissioner. Mr Zeid bin Ra’ad, coming from a military background went on record describing the Tamil political prisoners as ‘security detainees’. It was Mr Zeid who dashed all hopes of further struggle, the political prisoner told TamilNet.

Now the Sri Lankan military and police have resorted to abductions, arrests and violence against Tamil GS officers. This comes from the ‘consensus’ resolution placed in Geneva by the USA and the genocidal State of Sri Lanka.

While the NPC and TNA failed to respond to this inside the island, the Tamil diaspora has also failed to protest against the attitude, the prisoners said.

There are 29 Tamil political prisoners in Anuradhapura prison. At least two of them have no charge sheets filed against them, the prisoners said.

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