Ganesan appeals to President: Rehabilitate Tamil political detainees


By Paboda Hettige

The Democratic People’s Front appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring Tamil political detainees in remand prisons countrywide under a rehabilitation scheme.

DPF leader Mano Ganesan said currently there were about 800 such detainees in prisons countrywide.

Bringing the Tamil political detainees under rehabilitation programmes would be a goodwill sign to the Tamil community at large that the government was working towards national reconciliation, he told The Island.         

Former LTTE cadres were being rehabilitated and reintegrated in society. The government should also bring the Tamil political detainees under the rehabilitation programmes by making new laws, if necessary, Ganeshan said, adding that he had made a written appeal to the President. 

Some of the detainees had already been convicted; some had been charge-sheeted while investigations were pending against most of them, he said

Although no Tamil prisoners had been harmed in the recent prison riot, it had demonstrated their vulnerability, Ganesan said commending the government and prison authorities for taking urgent steps to transfer them from the Magazine prison to other locations.

Tamil detainees had faced attacks over 13 times at various prisons and detention centers countrywide since 1983. Many of these attacks had been fatal and it should not be repeated at a time the party’s were heading towards reconciliation, he said.

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