Political Prisoners to fast in Colombo, Anuradhapura

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 November 2008, 15:27 GMT]
Tamil political prisoners in Colombo Remand Prison and Anuradhapura Prison have announced a one-day fast on Monday, urging the authorities to expedite their cases. The prisoners, who alleged that the authorities were conveniently availing themselves of the PTV (Prevention of Terrorism Act) provision that allows for indefinite inquiry, said even the cases that have come to the courts were being delayed. The prisoners have warned that they would launch fast-unto-death campaign if there was no positive response to their one-day fast on Monday.

Many prisoners are being held for extended periods without any legal proceedings being instituted against them in courts by the Attorney General's Department.

The prisoners have contacted the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians, Mr. Mano Ganesan of the WPPF and P. Rathakrishnan of the Upcountry People's Front (UPF), who is a Deputy Minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's UPFA government. The politicians have promised to visit the prisoners on Monday.

The demands put forward by the prisoners are:

  1. Forward the cases where inquiries are completed to the Department of Attorny General.
  2. Expedite the cases that have reached the Attorney General a long time back, avoiding unnecessary delay.
  3. Consider bail applications favorably without rejecting them.
  4. Transfer the cases to courts in North and East as most of the prisoners are from these provinces.

The detainees have forwarded their appeals to Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, the Attorney General and the representatives of UN humanitarian agencies.

Many of the 112 prisoners in Colombo Remand Prison and around 35 prisoners in Anuradhapura have been waiting for their cases to heard for three years, even after the authorities had concluded their investigations.



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