The government should immediately repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and grant a general amnesty to all the political prisoners and the detained ex LTTE cadres, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says. “If necessary action is not taken to repeal the PTA it will be a hindrance to the national reconciliation process,” TNA MP, M. K. Shivajilingam said.
Not repealing the PTA would suggest that the government was planning to establish a military regime as evident in the northern and eastern regions, he said.
The government allowed the state of emergency to lapse last week ahead of United Nations Human Rights Council confab scheduled to take place in September and the PTA was kept in force.
The PTA was a threat to democracy at a time the Tamil community was ready to accept the concept of a united Sri Lanka, he said.
Shivajilingam also said that there were nearly 800 political prisoners including men, women and children in the custody of the government. The TNA believed that there could be about 10,000 prisoners of war in custody, he said. “The government claims that only about 6,000 are still under arrest and no comments have been made about the remaining 4,000 people,” he said.
However according to the reports the government had so far released nearly 5,000 such detainees, he said.
“The government must have lifted the emergency to avoid the pressure from the international community and to demonstrate that a genuine attempt was being taken to address the concerns of the world,” Shivajilingam said.