Kalutara fast draws more prisoner support

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 March 2003, 17:56 GMT]
The protest fast by Tamil inmates entering its eigth day at Kalutara prison, appealing to the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) for their release, drew support from Tamil prisoners in Batticaloa, Bogambara, Welikada and Negombo jails who have also started hunger strike, sources in Batticaloa said.

Kalutara prisoners demand that they either be released or their cases taken up in Courts of law without any delay. The prisoners have protested several times in the last few years and in each instant either a government minister or Tamil parliamentarians assured the prisoners that they will urgently look into their matter and bring a resolution to their reasonable demands. None of these assurances have been seriously followed up, prisoners complained.

Prisoners also complained that although one year has passed since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the GOSL and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, their case has not merited serious attention from either party.

"We were arrested and kept in prison under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). There is absolutely no reason to keep us in jail. We are all innocent. The only evidence the GOSL has against us is statements forced out from us with the threat of torture. The Government should come forward to release us immediately," fasting prisoners said.

The prisoners also said that this time they are not going to heed the assurances that may be forthcoming from parliamentarians and other representatives of the GOSL.


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07.10.02   Bishop pleads for Tamil political prisoners' release
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