PTA detainees must be released – Rasamanickam

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TNA MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam said, Tamils arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) after 2018 and serving sentences in Colombo’s Magazine Prison must be released or granted bail immediately.

“Tamil political prisoners who are serving prison sentences after being arrested under the said law must be released as soon as possible. We recently staged a token protest at Mahatma Gandhi Park in Batticaloa to draw the attention of the Government,” he said.

He said, there are 13 people in jail who were arrested after 2018 and the Government can state that legal action will be taken against them.

“They have been detained for four years. It didn’t matter what kind of crime each prisoner committed. However, the cases against them have not yet reached the Courts. Detaining them for an extended period of time under the guise of PTA was a source of concern. They may have committed minor crimes that do not warrant imprisonment, or they may have committed a crime that resulted in a six-month sentence.”

The TNA MP said, those who have been imprisoned for an extended period must be released immediately.

“Persons involved in various crimes have been granted Presidential Pardons. A person charged with murder was pardoned by President Maithripala Sirisena, Duminda Silva, who was convicted by the Supreme Court, was pardoned by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Ranjan Ramanayake, who was serving his jail term for Contempt of Court was released by President Wickremesinghe,” MP Shanakiyan said.

“We are continually urging the UNHCR that justice must be served to Tamils. There is a suspicion whether Minister Ali Sabry is appearing before the UNHCR as a representative of the Government or Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Another allegation about economic crimes has been made against the Government. Minister Sabry said, he completely denies the allegation and it could be that he was also responsible for this crime,” MP Shanakiyan added.

By Naalir Jamaldeen