TNA meets President over PTA prisoners issue | Sunday Observer

TNA meets President over PTA prisoners issue

21 October, 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to take steps to release prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), during a meeting with a high level Tamil National Alliance delegation last week, as a fast-unto-death by PTA prisoners in Anuradhapura have crossed the one month mark.

TNA Chief and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and Jaffna district legislator M.A. Sumanthiran met with President Sirisena to discuss the hot button issue on Wednesday (17).

President Sirisena has said, that discussions would be held with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya and all other concerned authorities to discuss the legal aspects of effecting the release, the TNA said in a statement issued to the media after the meeting.

Highlighting the points they had emphasised upon justifying the release of the prisoners, the TNA insisted on a political approach to the issue rather than a legal approach which had mainly impeded their release.

Had indictments been served and punishment meted out, a majority of them would have come out during the nine long years after serving their sentence, instead they are kept in detention indefinitely without any indictments, they told the President, according to the release.

The evidence against them is their own confession statements which are authentic under the PTA but under the new law to repeal the PTA such a confession statement is not authentic and, therefore, this aspect of the law also should be taken into consideration for their release, they said at the discussion, according to the media release.

Detained JVP members involved in the armed struggles of 1971, 1988 and 1989 were released and also 12,000 of the LTTE combatants rehabilitated and released which should be considered as just aspects for the release of the Tamil political prisoners.

Their fast-unto-death struggles were discontinued on the request of the TNA and continued agitations and protest campaigns are being waged by the cross-section of the Tamil community reflecting their sentiments, the TNA pointed out at the discussions, according to the release.