Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary – General and former Jaffna district Parliamentarian Veerasingham Anandasangaree has in a letter written to President Maithripala Sirisena requested that prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) be released by adhering to provisions of the Indo – Lanka Agreement signed on July 29th 1987.
The full text of the letter is as follows –
Release the Political Prisoners under the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord
It is with deep regret that I wish to point out to you that those detained under the PTA have once again notified their intention of restarting the Hunger Strike that they called off twice earlier on the presumption of getting released, based on the assurance given to them by some Politicians.
I presume, at the time of writing this letter, fifteen of them would have started their fast. They allege that only fifteen of them are taken to courts off and on and that every time they are taken to courts, they are told by the judge that he has no powers to take a decision about their release. That is the reason they say, that they have now undertaken this fast.
In the past, many who are detained, had undertaken the fast along with them but out of them 39 had been released on bail. All the others are detained without any trial. It is distressing to note that they have requested the Medical faculties of Jaffna and Kandy to take charge of their bodies if anything happens to them, help any disabled person who may need any organ of their bodies for transplanting.
Your Excellency, the matter has now become very serious. Some persons of authority have even declared that they will not allow a particular person or persons to get arrested. If that is the position why can’t Your Excellency take immediate step to order their release using the powers vested in you.
May I point out to you that under Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement to establish peace and normalcy in Sri Lanka of 29th July 1987 Section 2.11 says, ‘The President of Sri Lanka will grant a general amnesty to Political and other prisoners now held in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and other Emergency laws, and to combatants as well as to those persons accused, charged and / or convicted under these laws. The Government of Sri Lanka will make special efforts to rehabilitate militant youth with a view to bringing them back into the mainstream of national life. India will co-operate in the process.’
Your Excellency, now with the end of the war and peace is restored in Sri Lanka the above provisions should be utilised by you for the release of all those persons accused, charged and or convicted under the PTA.
If prompt action is not taken by you for their release the situation in the country will get worse since there is already much dissention among the minorities on various issues.
V.Anandasangaree Secretary General-TULF