ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka released 93 prisoners including 16 ex-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) combatants on a presidential pardon issued marking the Poson full moon poya day on June 24.
The 16 ex-combatants who were detained under provisions in the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA and 77 others who had been imprisoned for minor offences were thus released, Media Spokesman for the Department Chandana Ekanayake said in a statement.
Speaking in parliament on June 22, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa had requested Justice Minister Ali Sabry to do justice by the ex Tigers languishing in jail for many years either by rehabilitating them or by presenting their cases to the Attorney General.
Rajapaksa said there are about 38 cases involving ex LTTE cadres whose cases are still being heard for over 20 years while still being held in remand custody.
The MP said 13 ex LTTE cadres are detained without any charges while 35 who are facing imprisonment upon final court verdict have also been in remand custody for many years before their final verdict.
Meanwhle, former MP Duminda Silva who was sentenced to death over the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra is not among those released today, Ekanayake added.
Silva’s release from prison has been long speculated, though no such move has yet been initiated since the change of government in 2019. (Colombo/June24/2021)