2ND LEAD (Update)

PTA claimed life of upcountry Tamil political prisoner: Fr Shaktivel

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 20:20 GMT]
It was the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) that ultimately claimed the life of 62-year-old Muththaiah Sagadevan, who was severely affected by various diseases during his 14 years of detention. He passed away at the National Hospital in Colombo under the prolonged PTA-custody on 22 June, said Rev Fr M Shaktivel, the co-chairperson of the Action Committee to Free Tamil Political Prisoners. The TID detained Sagadevan in 2005. It took three years to file a case against him in 2008. But, the baseless PTA case was being dragged on for so long destroying his psychological and physical health. The misery has been caused by the new regime which has failed to recognise the PTA detainees of the LTTE times as political prisoners, Fr Shakthivel said. The international community was also calling for the scrapping of the PTA, he noted.



Muththiah Sagadevan
Muththiah Sagadevan


His death comes five days before the next hearing of the PTA case, scheduled for 27 June.

One of his kidneys had failed due to diabetes one year ago. He was suffering from a prolonged trauma as his case was being postponed indefinitely.

However, he was also hoping that he would be released as a fellow prisoner who was in a similar situation like him had been released six months ago.

Sagadevan was being treated at the prison hospital.

The prison hospital transferred him to the National Hospital one month ago as the only remaining kidney also started to fail, his wife said.
Muththiah Sagadevan


“My husband was innocent. He was a daily wage worker. Someone had hired him to clear the bushes in the premises of a house next to the residence of former SL Foreign Minster Luxman Kadirgamar. He was not aware that Kadirgamar was living in the next house. The police had arrested him on suspicion of assisting the assassins. But, he did not know anything about it and had no involvement in the assassination,” said Perumal Thanaledchumi, the wife of the late Sagadevan. She had been struggling to cover the expenses to the lawyer and had to sell all the belongings of the family.

Sagadevan hails from Badulla, and the family moved to Colombo after the 1983 Black July pogrom.


Chronology:

 

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