A letter signed by all government and opposition Tamil parliamentarians has been sent to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa calling for the release of more than 80 Tamils who have been imprisoned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for nearly 26 years.
The letter has also been sent to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Justice Minister Ali Sabry seeking the release of these prisoners who have been imprisoned since 1994 under the PTA and the Emergency regulations.
Over 20 government and opposition parliamentarians including Minister Douglas Devananda, Mano Ganesan, C. V. Wigneswaran, M. A. Sumanthiran and R. Sampanthan have signed the letter.
The letter calls on the government to pay immediate attention to their plight. They claimed the prisoners have been incarcerated without a legal basis.
Earlier this month Kanagasabai Devadasan, a Tamil prisoner, who has spent 12 years in jail, had also written to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Devadasan requested the president to expedite the court hearing of an appeal he had filed against the allegations that incarcerated him or otherwise raise his sentence to capital punishment and hang him immediately.
Consecutive Sri Lankan governments have maintained that that there are no Tamil political prisoners as those arrested in the North and East are detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on terrorism charges and therefore cannot be deemed as political prisoners.