Talks with President fruitful - Sivajilingam | Sunday Observer

Talks with President fruitful - Sivajilingam

Northern Provincial Council member M.K. Sivajilingam who met President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday on the release of people in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), told the Sunday Observer that the discussions that lasted one hour were smooth and constructive.

The President’s response and the assurances he gave were encouraging and he considered it an important turning point in their long struggle seeking the release of the political prisoners, Sivajilingam said.

The President promised prompt action on release of the detainees after consultations with Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale and Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya who are abroad and due to return next week.

The President also promised to consider possibilities of Presidential Amnesty to all the117 detainees, considering their long years of detention, he said.

Sivajilingam, a member of the Northern Provincial Council representing TNA constituent, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) was accompanied by former TELO parliamentarian for Batticaloa, Govindan Karunakaram, former Deputy Mayor of Velvettithurai, K. Satheesh and TELO propaganda secretary Ganesh Velautham.

He also explained to the President that the cases in respect of three prisoners on a hunger strike were transferred abruptly to the Anuradhapura Special High Court citing security threat to the lives of witnesses. But, of the 67 witnesses, only three are former LTTE members while the other 64 are from the security forces and the police, he told the President and the latter thanked him for enlightening him on the matter, he said.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D. M. Swaminathan, Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayaka, Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray, Secretary to the President Austin Fernando, the Acting AG and senor police officers were also present at the meeting.

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