The Attorney General has said firmly to Sumanthiran MP that he will not transfer the case of the fasting Tamil Political Prisoners (TPPs) citing the security of the witnesses, as the reason. MP, Sumanthiran had pointed out that the security of the witnesses is a responsibility of the Government. It is not acceptable changing the case from Vavuniya to Anuradhapura for the said reason and had requested that the case be transferred back to Vavuniya.
The Attorney General had transferred a case heard to near completion for 4 years to Anuradhapura Court. The TPPs accused in the case had gone on a fasting protest for 14 days now. In this context MP, Sumanthiran contacted him over the telephone yesterday.
The witnesses are refusing to testify at Vavuniya court citing their own security as reason . They are ready to testify in the Anuradhapuram courts. The case had been transferred to Anuradhapura court on the basis of the justification of their stand, said the AG.
However, Sumanthiran had pointed out that the TPPS are detained for than 8 years and the case had gone on for 4 years. Transferring of the case is acceptable because the security of the witnesses rest with the Government. There are difficulties in the Attorneys of the defense attending Anuradhapura Courts. It is a must that the case be transferred to Vavuniya again.
But AG had not consented to it. Meanwhile, in response to MP, Sivasakthy Anananthan’s request to help the case be heard in Vavuniya, the President had written to the Secretary of the Ministry of Justice , on 2017.09.06th to do the needful to fulfill the request of the applicant subject to currently prevailing laws and procedures. Copies of this letter and a translation are given below.
2017 Sept. 2017.
My No: PR/21/28/267869
Ministry of justice,
Supreme Court Complex,
Colombo – 12.
Appeal for avoiding transferring of cases of Political prisoners in Anuradhapura Prison to Colombo Courts.
A letter sent by Member of Parliament Hon. N.Sivasakthy Ananthan, to His Excellency the President is sent herewith for your attention.
It has been informed by Hon. Sivasakthy Ananthan that, the Political prisoners in the Anuradhapura prison have engaged in Fasting for the last 2 days requesting not to transfer their cases to Colombo courts and that transferring their cases to Colombo will cause language problems and other difficulties to the prisoners. In accordance with this, he has requested the His Excellence President for his help in hearing the cases in Vavuniya Courts and find a solution for their cases.
It is kindly requested of you to pay attention on this matter and to take suitable action to fulfill the request of the applicant subjected to currently prevailing laws and procedures. Further, please inform the Member of Parliament, Hon. Sivasakthy Ananthan regarding any action taken by you regarding this matter.
Assistant Senior Secretary to the President.
for- Secretary to the President.
Hon. N. Sivasakthy Ananthan.
Member of Parliament, No.22, Outer circular Road, Vavuniya.