AG looking at possibility to release them

A legal snag is virtually delaying the release of the remaining Tamil detainees in prisons who were taken into custody in the aftermath of war, National Dialogue Minister Mano Ganeshan said.

He said that suspected LTTE members having more than one case against them is the reason for the delay in qualifying them for rehabilitation.

“A prisoner might be qualified for rehabilitation and release in one case, but, not in another.

The prisoner will have to inform the courts about his desire to go for rehabilitation programmes referring to all the cases that he is alleged to be involved in, explained Minister Ganeshan. “The government has decided to release all the Tamil detainees, but, it has to be handled legally,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, former Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian, P. Ariyanethran speaking to the Daily News said TNA should reconsider supporting the government if they fail to take a firm decision with regard to the release of Tamil detainees in prison. He further explained that since the government has not heeded to the demands of the Tamil people, TNA should reconsider its stance on supporting the government and the Budget as well.He further said the Attorney General’s department is looking at the possibilities of releasing all the Tamil detainees at the prison adding that measures are being taken to sort it out.

“The Tamil detainees in the prison should be given amnesty. It is the responsibility of President Maithripala Sirisena to take an immediate decision in this direction.

The Tamil detainees called off the fast when the government assured a speedy solution which was agreed upon by the TNA,” said Ariyanethran.

He said “I don’t think the Tamil Prisoners will agree to resolve the issue on a piece meal basis.

The government gave pledge urging the detainees to call off the fast And when it is the time to fulfill their promises they keep one step back he added. The government needs to look into issues relating to the release of Tamil detainees in a political perspective than in a legal perspective, said Humanitarian Activist Rev. Father M. Sakthivel, speaking to the Daily News.

He said the government should look at the issue in a legal perspective in order to delay the progress of it.

They have issued the names of twenty detainees, including the names of those detainees who were selected before as well. Some of the prisoners have more than ten cases against their name, while there are legal difficulties in the government’s plan to rehabilitate them. Therefore, amnesty should be given to the prisoners to sort out the problem, Rev. Fr. Shakthivel said.

While the prisoners would have to confess in a court of law to be considered for rehabilitation, it is the prisoners who have many charges against them who would have legal difficulties, he said. He further said as per the Gazette issued in year 2009, only those who have “voluntarily surrendered” and stated their intentions to surrender in writing, would be eligible for rehabilitation.

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