South Asia

Rajapaksa claims threat to life after prisoner release

The office of Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged on Sunday that the release of 39 Tamil prisoners has placed the life of the former President in danger.

Accusing the government of having started releasing the “dangerous LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] suspects” who had been in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Rohan Welivita, media secretary to the former President, said a statement the former Rajapaksa government rehabilitated and released over 11,000 LTTE cadres and “only two to three hundred hard core terrorists were kept in detention with a view to taking legal action against them.”

Mr. Welvita pointed out that “it is the duty of the government to strengthen” the security arrangements for Mr. Rajapaksa.

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena, who also holds the defence portfolio, justified the decision to release the prisoners on Friday in Parliament.

Taking note of the presence of Mr. Rajapaksa in the House, Mr Sirisena gave an account of leading figures of the LTTE who were released during the previous regime. They included former Eastern commander of the LTTE, Karuna, and his deputy Pillayan, besides chief of the arms procurement wing and ‘international secretariat’, Kumaran Pathmanathan. The President recalled that Karuna was made vice-president of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Pillayan Chief Minister of the Eastern Province.

The President uestioned his critics how his government’s policy on the prisoners could be wrong when “12,000 LTTE members” released by the Rajapaksa regime did not have the capability to pose a threat to the national security.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 3:11:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/rajapaksa-claims-threat-to-life-after-prisoner-release/article7955822.ece

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