Mannar Bishop requests prisoner transfer

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 November 2000, 11:31 GMT]
Rt.Rev.Rayappu Joseph Bishop of Mannar has appealed to President Chandrika Bandaranaike to transfer all the Tamil speaking political prisoners to the prisons in the Tamil areas taking account of their safety in the wake of the recent killings at Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Centre in Bandarawela.

The full text of the letter follows:

"I am certain that your Excellency abhors the saddest events of brutal killings of the Tamil political prisoners kept under state custody in our country. This has shamelessly become a practice especially after July 1983 and has been repeated also lately on the Tamil inmates of the Bandarawela Rehabilitation camp.

"These barbaric events have brought to light beyond doubt, that in the present set up no amount of security arrangement, however tight and stringent they may be, is going to guarantee the safety of the Tamil political prisoners because we have to shamefully accept that the very guardians of law and order have had a direct or indirect hand throughout, in the perpetration of this heinous type of crime against humanity.

"Therefore, I appeal to your Excellency's conscience not to keep the Tamil speaking political prisoners in the same prisons as now, endangering their lives further, but on the contrary to transfer them to prisons in the Tamil-speaking areas.

"I also wish to gently remind our Excellency that how unjust it is to keep the suspected detainees behind the bars for years together without the possibility of their cases bring properly heard by the court of law. Many of these cases are either not given over to the courts or if done, very easily prolonged due to the endless absence at courts, of the police officers concerned. Thus, these suspects are being made to unjustly serve a sentence without being sentenced or without being heard by a court of law.

"Therefore, Your Excellency, you with a keen sense of justice, I am convinced, will not delay to order immediate trail of all the suspected political detainees so that justice will be meted out to these your unfortunate subjects.

"I also wish to mention here that it will be useless to appoint commissions of inquiry etc. after the above category of your citizens are so murdered and done away with. I am confident that this appeal will receive your immediate attention, knowing you as a person who is deeply committed to justice."

 

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