A Pongal event titled “Freedom Pongal” was organised in Jaffna today, demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners.
The "Freedom Pongal" event was organised by The Voice of the Voiceless, to push for an amnesty or presidential pardon for political prisoners on the Tamil festival of Pongal or Sri Lanka's Independence Day on February 4.
Murugiah Komakan, the coordinator of the organisation, led the proceedings and former prisoners from Kilinochchi and Jaffna who were later set free and their families also participated in the event.
Amongst others in attendance included V. Manivannan, the Mayor of Jaffna City, M.K. Shivajilingam, an ex-parliamentarian, and other notables and religious leaders.
“As Tamils living all over the world are celebrating Pongal, the families of political prisoners are shedding tears of blood,” Komakan said. “We organised this Freedom Pongal to demand their release and illuminate their lives.”
Komakan said that the Sri Lankan government released a few prisoners earlier and publicised it widely, only to continue to detain the remaining prisoners behind bars.
He pleaded that the government set free the political prisoners this year whose release was anticipated last year.