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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Amnesty or Rehabilitation to Tamil prisoners; We reject special courts – mano

Government maintains a policy of selective justice. You have pardoned Vinayakamoorthy Muralitharan aka Karuna Amman, Chandrakanthan aka Pillaiyan, K. Pathmanathan aka KP and Daya master who were the most popular commanders in the LTTE. But you are keeping the small timers who executed the commands of these current government ministers while the both the commanders and executors were in the LTTE. It is the irony here.

You pardoned former LTTE carders now in the government due to political reasons. Hence you are keeping these others locked for political reasons. Therefore they are absolutely political prisoners said Mano Ganesan, leader of Democratic People’s Front and Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission at the protest rally in support of the release of Tamil prisoners  opposite Colombo Welikada prisons today afternoon.   

NSSP leader Bahu, USP Leader Srithunga, FSP leaders, many TNA MPs, leaders of TNPF, DPF politburo members, civil groups and large numbers of the family members of the detainees participated.

Ganesan said further in his address directed at the government.

You say you completed the war and that brought peace and freedom to the nation. Where is that so called freedom to us, Tamils? We Tamils are searching for it in this country.  Ids freedom a privileged commodity for Tamils? I am speaking in front of this Welikada prison here in Colombo. You have robbed the freedom of my people who are there on the other side of the wall.  You are keeping women, children of the  these women, elders, invalid, Hindu and Catholic priests as prisoners.     

We demand total amnesty to prisoners held for very longer periods, some over ten years. We demand others to be accommodated in the rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitate and handover them to their respective families.  

Now you are talking about special courts to expedite the cases. This is the third time you are coming with such a proposal during your tenure. What happened to those special courts you promised to establish in year 2005 and year 2008? Have they gone with the wind or in the Tsunami ? This is one of your typical time buying exercises.

We do not accept this. Do not say that you have no room in the laws to grant amnesty to prisoners who are already charge sheeted. Please bring in amendments or new legislations for this purpose. Don’t forget you brought amendment to the constitution, the supreme law of the country, in one single day. You amended the constitution of the country in one single day.

I am confident that all the opposition parties would support such an effort in the parliament. Already TNA, JVP and FSP have called for the release of the political prisoners. I am equally confident that we can obtain the cooperation of UNP and DNA led by Sarath Fonseka. So it is the government which is holding it. You are holding it because you do not have the will to address this humanitarian issue.

The Tamil party leaders in the government do have a moral responsibility in this issue. I call upon them to talk to the president.

In general, solution to this issue if properly addressed, will be a milestone in the path towards real time reconciliation.  
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