The Tamil Political Prisoners (TPPs) currently detained in Magazine Prison have sent a letter expressing their distrust on the Special Court pointing out that the court is looking at them as convicted criminals, willful delays caused in their cases repeated postponements without any hearing and addition of more witnesses while the case is in proceeding etc. to the President, Prime Minister, Minister and Chief Justice and requested them to take action to expedite their cases.
The full text of their letter is shown below:
New Magazine Prison,
Colombo – 09
His Excellency, Maithripala Sirisena,
The President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Galle Face Green,
Colombo – 01.
Through: Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe,
The Prime Minister of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister’s Office,
58, Sir Earnest De Silva Mawatha,
Colombo – 07.
Through: Superintendent of Prisons,
New Magazine Prison,
Colombo – 09.
The Special court had become suspicious.
In a period where 7 years had passed after the war had had ended, we are detained in prison after being arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations and some of us are languishing in the prison for more than 25 years. Whenever we undertake struggles for our release, several times through non-violent way like fasting, the Hon. Ministers and other Authorized Officers of the Good Governance Government formed by you, Your Excellency the President and the Hon. Prime Minister, met us in prison and accepting the justifiability of our demand and gave us several promises, which are not fulfilled to date.
However, a Special Court was instituted, saying that our cases will be expedited and completed soon in order to grant us some relief. But, although ten months had passed after the setting up of this court, following facts confirm that we are not delivered with justice or fair judgment.
- This special court had rejected the judgments delivered in the jurisdiction of North and East after throwing out the confessions, pressurized to accept sentences and had passed sentences. ( Case No: HC 6489/13)
- As the cases postponed without hearing, detention for long time in prison and the inability to bear the pathetic situation of their respective families had made around ten (10) detainees to plead guilty without any hearing and have received sentences.
- Repeatedly inserting new witnesses other than those already scheduled in the case, while the case is already proceeding.( for example in case No: 16 witnesses were scheduled in the charge sheet, but later, around 34 new witnesses were added to the original 16.)
- Although the case postponed 17 times it was not taken up for hearing even a single time ( Case No: HC 5875/11)
- A suspicion had formed among us whether the cases are being moved forward, with the Court looking at the accused prisoners as convicts.
- In this court, before commencing any court activities, the group including state Attorney, witnesses and the judge goes into judge’s chamber, discuss about the relevant case and then comes out to proceed with the court activities.
- Although instances of witnesses giving false testimonies during the case had been brought to the attention of this court, No action had being taken against the persons giving false testimonies.
- The cases getting extended by not producing witness on relevant case dates as required and the exchange of documents being not made in due time.
- The court not paying any attention on prisoners who are unable get legal assistance.
Because of the above matters and reasons, we all are not in a position to place any faith on the said Special Court.
Hence believing that both of your honourable selves will take suitable action to deliver us with justice and fairness, we also request your kind selves to fulfill our expectations.
Name and signature of Political Prisoners.
|Seriel No||Prison No||Name. Signature.|
|12||3207||A.P. Jayalath Silva|
|14||3890||P .S. Sarma|
|29||3537||S. Anantha Suthakar|
|30||6766||W.A. Rangith Perera|
|31||3044||Edward Sam Sivalingam|
1.The Leader of the Opposition of the Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Hon. R.Sampanthan. 2D, Samith Building, Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo -05.
- Hon. D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Prison Reforms, and Hindu Culture, Ministry of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Prison Reforms, and Hindu Culture, Galle Road, Colombo – 03.
- Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, Ministry of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, P.O.Box : 555> Supreme Court Complex, Colombo – 12.
- Hon. M. Sribavan, Chief Justice, Supreme Court Complex, Colombo – 12
- Hon. Secretary, Legal Assistant Commission, P.O.Box : 573> Aluthkade Road, Colombo – 12.
- Hon. Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Healthy life and State Language, 341/7, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya.