Detainees reject appeal to call off fast

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 October 2002, 17:35 GMT]
The Tamil political prisoners detained at Kalutara prison Monday rejected offers made by two cabinet ministers of the United National Front (UNF) government to call off their seven-day hunger strike, prison sources said.

Ministers Mr. T.Maheswaran and Mr.Rajitha Senaratne Monday visited the Kalutara prison and held talks with the Tamil detainees and requested them to break off their hunger strike, assuring them the government will take steps to expedite the disposal of their cases in courts. However, Tamil prisoners have totally rejected Ministers' appeal to call off their action, sources said.

One hundred and eighty nine detainees at Kalutara prison and nineteen at Welikada jail are on hunger strike since last Tuesday, demanding their immediate release, without any condition. They have been detained under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

At least eight of the detainees at Kalutara prison have climbed on top of the roof of the prison building, officials said.

Meanwhile, conditions of fifteen Tamil political prisoners including a women detainee at Kalutara prison are reported critical as they have refused medical treatment.

Hunger strike launched by Tamil political detainees at Batticaloa prison also entered fourth day. Seventeen PTA suspects detained at Batticaloa prison have joined the hunger strike campaign expressing solidarity with Kalutara and Welikada Tamil political detainees. Two of the Batticaloa prisoners have been admitted to Teaching Hospital in serious condition, medical sources said. The ICRC delegate in Batticaloa Monday visited the Tamil detainees who are now on hunger strike, sources added.

 

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