Opposition Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan has written to President Maithripala Sirisena stating that an unnecessary complication has been created with the transfer of some cases from Vavuniya to Anuradhapura.
If witnesses needed protection it could have been provided without the cases being transferred, Sampanthan has stated in the letter, while highlighting the ongoing hunger strike by three Tamil prisoners.
“These cases cannot be considered as coming purely under the purview of the Attorney General’s Department. With due respect to the Attorney General, these cases have a certain political dimension and cannot be addressed as a purely legal issue. It can be justifiably stated that if Sri Lanka’s national question had been reasonably……addressed in time,many of the persons in custody, would not have been in their present position but instead useful citizens.
This circumstance makes it obligatory that you address this issue politically too. The issue not being addressed politically is a strong impediment to reconciliation and the restoration of goodwill and harmony,” the letter stated.
The families of these persons in custody have suffered for very a long period of time without the support of their breadwinners.
This vitally important factor has not been given due consideration, he said.
Sampanthan added that the only evidence available against most of these persons is confessions extracted from them against their will under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which would be inadmissible against them in a normal court of law.
Many of the cases have been postponed because the prosecution is not ready to proceed with the cases.
He further stressed: “Persons in similar situations such as those taken into custody during the insurrections of the JVP have been granted an amnesty and released.
It is not understood why the same principle cannot be applied in regard to these prisoners.”