TNA led by Sampanthan MP meets President Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Gunewardena on January 5th for further discussions on Release of Tamil Prisoners and Private lands from High Security Zones; Agenda for marathon session talks from Jan 10 to 13 to be Formulated.

BY Mirudhula Thambiah

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will meet President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the PresidentialSecretariat today (5) to discuss the release of prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism
(Temporary Provisions) Act (PTA), the possibility of releasing lands from high security zones(HSZs), and finalising the agenda for the meetings scheduled from 10-13 January to seek a
solution to the national ethnic question via a Constitutional process.

Speaking to The Morning, TNA Spokesman, MP and President’s Counsel (PC) M.A.Sumanthiran said yesterday (4) that during the last meeting held with PresidentWickremesinghe in December 2022, the possibilities pertaining to the three above-mentioned
important issues had been discussed, adding that those would now be finalised at today’smeeting.

“We will be meeting the President at 5 p.m. tomorrow (5). We will take stock of the situation withregard to the release of PTA prisoners, and we will look at the development, if any, on the land
issue, and we will finalise an agenda for our meetings with the President from 10-13 January,”he added.

Sumanthiran further noted that TNA Leader, MP and Attorney R. Sampanthan will participate inthis meeting along with him.
During a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on 21 December 2022 betweenSampanthan, Sumanthiran, and Government representatives including PresidentWickremesinghe, Prime Minister DineshmGunawardena, Minister of Justice, Prisons Affairs, and
Constitutional Reforms Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC, Minister of Foreign Affairs M.U.M. AliSabry PC, Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda, and Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam
PC, the release of 14 PTA prisoners by 4 February 2023 on Presidential pardons wasdiscussed.

Speaking to The Morning, Sumanthiran PC said that during the meeting, the issues of PTA
prisoners, the release of lands, and Constitutional issues were discussed.

“There are 31 PTA prisoners, out of whom 14 are convicted. It was discussed to consider their
release on Presidential pardons by 4 February 2023. The cases of the rest of the prisoners are
underway. Also, arrangements have to be made and victims need to be consulted before their
release,” he added.

Sumanthiran also said that during the discussion, it was considered to release some lands
following discussions at the National Security Council meetings in January 2023. “We will be meeting again tomorrow, to prepare an agenda on Constitutional issues, following which there
will be meetings scheduled to be held from 10-13 January,” he added.

Earlier, Sumanthiran PC, on 14 December 2022, speaking during the all-party conference,urged President Wickremesinghe to finalise the draft Constitution created in January 2019.

President Wickremesinghe stated at the all-party conference that was held recently, that he will
hold discussions with Opposition and Samagi Jana Balawegaya Leader Sajith Premadasa withregard to the report on Constitutional reforms submitted by a committee led by Romesh De Silva

Courtesy:The Morning