However, to date, the President seems not to have taken any follow up action to pardon Ananthasuthakaran and recent news reports suggest that he does not plan to.
This brief seeks to provide a policy prescription on dealing with the issue of Tamil political prisoners. Too many like Ananthasuthakaran have suffered for too long under the draconian framework of the PTA which both perpetuates human rights and due process abuses systemically against political prisoners, and also does not provide a suitable framework for prosecuting international crimes.This policy brief details an alternative legal policy approach using the international humanitarian law concept of ‘combatant immunity’, that the Sri Lankan Government can take to comprehensively and justly resolve the political prisoner issue without affecting the search for accountability and justice for serious violations of international humanitarian law and other international crimes committed during the war.
This brief does not deal with the issue of Presidential pardons which are a separate legal issue subject to political will, but rather tries to consider a holistic and sustainable strategy for handling Tamil political prisoners that would promote lasting peace, meaningful reconciliation, and accountability and justice. ACPR however fully supports the call for a Presidential pardon for Ananthasuthakaran in the interim.