TNA presses PM for immediate action on prisoner release

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 October 2002, 17:24 GMT]
The adjournment motion moved by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in parliament regarding the hunger strike of Tamil political prisoners that has entered eighth day would be taken up for debate pending on the outcome of the top-level talks the TNA parliamentarians are scheduled to have Wednesday with the Prime Minister (PM) and the Attorney General, sources said. Tamil political prisoners detained at Welikada, Kalutara and other prisons are on hunger strike since October 1 demanding their immediate release.

A delegation of the TNA parliamentarians Tuesday held a discussion with the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe and stressed that there is no justification for the authorities to continue to detain Tamil youths arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for helping the LTTE and providing information at a time when the government itself has started peace talks with the LTTE. This discussion took place in parliament, sources said.

TNA parliamentary group leader Mr.Sampanthan said that a TNA delegation is to meet the Prime Minister Wednesday to take important decisions regarding the release of all PTA suspects now under detention in various prisons in the island. The Attorney General is also expected to participate in Wednesday talks, TNA sources said.

The date for the debate on the adjournment motion regarding the release of Tamil political prisoners will be decided on the outcome of Wednesday talks with the PM and AG, TNA sources said.

If the talks are successful then a senior cabinet minister Mr.Milinda Morogoda will accompany a TNA delegation to Kalutara to meet Tamil political prisoners, TNA sources said.

Meanwhile TNA parliamentary group leader Mr.Sampanthan Tuesday handed over the adjournment motion and supported it.

The adjournment motion states: -

"I hereby give notice of the following motion seeking leave to move the adjournment of parliament for the purpose of discussing the following matter of urgent public importance: -

The Tamil detenues held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (1) at the Kalutara Remand Prison totalling 151, (2) (2) at the Batticaloa Prison totaling 28, at (3) the Welikada Prison (female section) totaling 39 and at (4) other prisons in the country and totalling in all to over 250, have for several years suffered detention under the under the draconian provision of the PTA, and have been denied a just trial and/or have not been indicted and brought to trial, and/or have been convicted through an unjust trial, conducted under the draconian provisions of the said PTA, and in a state of desperation in the afore said situation; 139 prisoners in the Kalutara remand prison, 17 prisoners in the Batticaloa prison, and 12 prisoners in the Welikada prison ( female section ) have been engaged in a fast unto death for a period of about one week, up-to-date, and according to information available; in the Kalutara Remand prison, 17 have vomited blood, 8 are critical of whom 7 are being saline, and according to the latest information 40 have fainted, and in the Batticaloa prison 4 have fainted and 2 who have taken ill, have refused to take medicine though taken to hospital, and in the Welikada prison (female section) 12 prisoners engaged in the hunger strike are in a poor state, and since there is imminent danger to the lives of detenues engaged in this fast, and since any such tragic event could have disastrous consequences: and also since the Tamil people are strongly of the view that members of the security forces/the police force/ paramilitary forces engaged in terrorism against the Tamil people and the merciless massacre of innocent non-combatant Tamils in stances, such as the large scale killing of Tamils at Mylanthanai, Kumarapuram, Pokkuruni and Bindunuwewa, have been released on bail despite the gravity of the said crimes; the continuous incarceration of the aforesaid Tamil detenues in the foresaid Prisons is discriminatory, and unjust, and though some detenues have been released after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, the government has not been adequately sensitive to the pathetic plight of the remaining detenues in the changes scenario prevalent in the country, and to the fast unto death carried on by these Tamil detenues; it is urged that the Government immediately take appropriate action to establish contact with the aforesaid detenues and take expeditious action to have the said fast ended and to have the aforesaid detenues released, or brought to trial under the normal laws of the land, so that they would be entitled to the dispensation of justice on a basis of equality with all other accused persons in the country."


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