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TULF's appeal to Sirisena on Tamil prisoners

V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).
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While pointing out that "pardoning the entire lot is the best action," Mr. Anandasangaree suggested that the President consider "rehabilitation" for a specific period for some prisoners if they had committed "serious offences."

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has renewed its appeal to President Maithripala Sirisena for the immediate release of over 200 Tamils, popularly called political prisoners, who have been experiencing imprisonment for a number of years.

The prisoners have, essentially, been booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and when they undertook a week-long fast last month, they gave up their agitation after the government assured them to expedite their release by the first week of November. About 10 days ago, at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, it was decided that steps would be taken for securing bail in respect of those who faced less serious charges. So far, no one had been released.

The TULF secretary general V. Anandasangaree, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, recalled how members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and those of various Tamil groups were granted amnesty by the government in the late 1980s. In the case of the Tamil groups, the action had followed after the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed in July 1987.

While pointing out that “pardoning the entire lot is the best action,” Mr. Anandasangaree suggested that the President consider “rehabilitation” for a specific period for some prisoners if they had committed “serious offences.”

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2018 5:53:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/tulfs-appeal-to-sirisena-on-tamil-prisoners/article7837959.ece