2ND LEAD (Adds voice)

Tamil POWs relaunch hunger-strike, urge cases to be heard at Jaffna, Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 September 2016, 23:02 GMT]
Tamil political prisoners languishing in the prisons of genocidal Colombo have decided to launch a continuous hunger-strike campaign starting from Wednesday. The Tamil prisoners are demanding immediate action from the Colombo government and its international ‘partners’ on their release. “At least transfer our cases to the High Courts in Vavuniyaa and Jaffna from the clutches of Anuradhapura Special Courts,” a spokesperson of the political prisoners jailed in Anuradhapura prison said while talking to TamilNet over the phone and reading a statement on behalf of the detained prisoners. 



The Tamil prisoners said they had no trust in the Special Court established in September 2013 in Anuradhapura exclusively to deal with the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ based cases. 

So far, the court has only dealt with 15 PTA cases. In Two cases, the detainees chose to plead ‘guilty’ as they had no means to cover the legal expenses of appealing the decision by the Special Court. A third case ended in the release of one prisoner, who had his cases dismissed from other courts in the North-East. Apart from these three cases, all other PTA cases are subjected to delay tactics and postponements. 

In the meantime, the case of Sinhala military personnel who committed a massacre at Kumarapuram in Trincomalee was transferred to the High Court in Anuradhapura and within one month all of the accused were found ‘not guilty’ by the SL Courts despite the fact there was more than 150 witnesses to the genocidal massacre. 

In addition to the language related difficulties experienced by Tamil prisoners at Anuradhapura, the ‘Special Court’ functioning there was operating with a hidden agenda of prolonging the processing of their cases, the Tamil political prisoners alleged. 

The prisoners also urged public support to their renewed hunger-strike and said they were no longer prepared to abandon their struggle based on empty promises coming from the politicians. 

The announcement of hunger-strike comes as the SL Ministry of Justice has failed to respond to their appeals extended one month ago through the Tamil National Alliance, they further said. 


Chronology:

 

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