Ananthy Sasitharan calls for end to abuse and release of Tamil political prisoners

Ananthy Sasitharan 2Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan in a press release issued on 14 October 2014, said, a deadline must be imposed for the release of all Tamil political prisoners,  and the continued detention of Tamil political prisoners, will see further peaceful protests, and urged all Tamil kin to raise their voices for the liberation of political prisoners.

The statement is given below:

“The Northern Provincial Council has passed countless motions calling for the unconditional release of Tamil political prisoners locked up for years under the suspicion of the same government of Sri Lanka which claims to have achieved peace and reconciliation after the war, but there has been no visible progress.

That Tamil youth are massacred and tortured in jail is known by all, since 1983 and continuing to the present day. The sudden deaths of Tamil political prisoners in prison are frequently justified or covered up by the state.

Despite having passed a resolution concerning the release of Tamil political prisoners during the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) conference, to this day no meaningful answer has been reached.

The suffering of Tamil political prisoners in jail is no small deal. Some months previously, we learned through newspapers that in clashes between Tamil political prisoners and Sinhalese inmates in an Anuradhapura prison, only the Tamil prisoners were harmed, due to actions of the prison staff.

While Tamil political prisoners were peacefully awaiting their liberation, the prison staff locked them up in cells together with Sinhala inmates. To express their dissatisfaction with the move, the Tamil prisoners undertook a fast unto death, which lasted for eight days when prison authorities assured the hunger-strikers that they would be able to move cells. However this promise is yet to be fulfilled.

On the 5th of October, Sinhalese inmates (imprisoned for drug smuggling offences) who were sent among Tamil political prisoners in the Anuradhapura prison made false accusations about the Tamil prisoners to the racist prison officer Upul Theniyanisanthe. Three Tamil political prisoners currently undergoing trials were severely beaten while being asked “are you tigers?” and “how many Sinhalese have you killed?” With several fractures, unable to walk or keep consciousness, the Tamil prisoners were returned to the cells with the Sinhalese inmates, and received no treatment for their severe injuries, and so the savagery continues.

Has law and justice for Tamils been buried away in this country? On this land where humanity has died, where can we find justice and fairness? If there is such a thing as hell, it is for Tamils in Sri Lanka, the prison system.

It is distressing that we all pretend not to see and keep silent about the hundreds of young Tamils rotting in prisons without adequate food, medical care, sanitation or legal aid.

The discriminatory imprisonment, abuse and torture of Tamil political prisoners must be stopped. Violence and abuse against Tamil political prisoners must be stopped. The abuse of Tamil political prisoners at the hands of prison guards must be stopped.

Furthermore, a deadline must be imposed for the release of all Tamil political prisoners. If this government wishes to gain the goodwill of the people of the Northeast, political prisoners must be released.

I must state that without this, and with the continued detention of Tamil political prisoners, we will mobilise for further peaceful protests, and I urge all Tamil kin to raise their voices for the liberation of political prisoners.”

 

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