Tamil Diplomat

A section of Tamil prisoners to be released on bail

Tamil Political Prisoners(TPPs)  cannot be granted General Amnesty , but they will be released on bail. A decision to this effect had been taken in a meeting held yesterday presided by Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Ministers Mano Ganeshan, Thilak Marapone, D.M.Swaminathan, and several High level Officers including IGP, and Deputy Attorney General attended this meeting.

The prisoners, numbering 217, have been accused of having indulged in terrorist activities and held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or Emergency laws. They are said to be in jails for varying periods ranging from five years to 15 years.

Mr. Marapana told  media that steps would be taken to provide relief to those who were experiencing “long detention” and having “marginal charges.”

He clarified that “long detention” would include even those who were in jails for five to six years. However, he maintained that case by case examination would be done before moving the court.

Asked how many prisoners would get the relief, the Minister replied that he would not be able to give the number. To another query whether those who would get the relief would be released by the first week of November, Mr Marapana said “I can’t give you the timeframe but the Attorney General has been asked to take appropriate action.”

He added that there were 217 prisoners in total and in respect of 30 cases, no charges were filed against prisoners concerned. About 10 days ago, the Minister told this correspondent that 50 to 60 prisoners without charges were in jails.

According to Mr. Ganesan, the meeting also decided not to grant amnesty.