Tamil political prisoners incarcerated in Colombo go on hunger strike

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 October 2017, 23:26 GMT]
While the health condition of three Tamil prisoners who are waging fast-unto-death for the past 29 days in Anuradhapura prison has been deteriorating day by day, Tamil prisoners incarcerated in the high security Magazine prison in Colombo announced on Monday evening that they are launching a hunger strike on Tuesday demanding a principled decision on the release all 132 Tamil political prisoners detained and jailed in various prisons across the island. In the meantime, SL President Maithiriapala Sirisena, sitting on a time frame until Wednesday on making a decision on the demands from the hunger strikers in Anuradhapura. The SL prison authorities, fearing that the worsening condition of hunger strikers could spark off vigorous protests in the North, are treating the prisoners at prison ward without admitting them to the civil hospital in Anuradhapura to avoid media focus.

Sulaxan Mathiyarasan (Kara’navaay North in Vadamaraadchi, Jaffna), Rasathurai Thiruvarul (6th Division, Vela’nai West, Jaffna) and Ganeshan Tharshan (Navalap-piddi, Kandy) were however continuing the fast-unto-death from Anuradhapura hospital ward, their families said.

The three hunger strikers are being given intravenous drip at the prison ward, the families further said.

In the meantime, the political prisoners incarcerated in the New Magazine prison in Colombo have urged the University students in the North and East to shape their protests towards exerting pressure on Tamil National Alliance and the international community to force Colombo towards making a political decision on the release of all Tamil political prisoners.

Meeanwhile, the fate of hundreds of Tamil men and women including some families, who were handed over to SL military in front of their kith and kin at the end of genocidal war in May 2009, still remains unknown. The families handed them over to Sinhala military after the SL military announced ‘general amnesty’ through loudspeakers.

Majority of these Prisoners of War were detained in secret prisons and subjected to torture and long-term incarceration in full secrecy.

Some of these abandoned secret detention camps have been exposed in recent times.

The families of enforced disappeared are staging continuous exceeding 200 days demanding an answer from the SL State. Occupying Colombo is dilly-dallying persistently on their demands. Colombo regime wants these protesters to accept a ‘certificate’ on ‘missing persons’. The SL Establishment wants to wear out the protesters.

Only around 132 Tamil prisoners held in open prisons are known to be alive, both those awaiting their cases to be heard for several years (ranging from 8 to 24 years) or serving imprisonment sentences.

Almost all the cases against them were produced using false or fabricated evidences including confessions obtained under torture. In most cases their confessions were written in Sinhala and the prisoners, who can't understand the language, were forced to put their signature.

Courts operating in North-East where Tamil is used as the medium of language and Judges are able to communicate in Tamil have a tendency of setting aside the evidences lacking credibility. But, ethnically biased Sinhala judges in the courts operating outside North-East are inclined to accept the fabricated cases and punish the Tamil detainees with harsh sentences.

The situation of Tamil political detainees languishing in Welikada prison has also worsened in recent times as a number of them have been incarcerated with criminal Sinhala inmates serving death sentences.

Some of the Tamil inmates have been turned into narcotic addicts to make them more cooperative with the SL Prison authorities, the prisoners in New Magazine prison told TamilNet on Monday.


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