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Protesters in Vavuniya demand release of political prisoners after eleven years of denied justice

The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party led a protest in front of the Vavuniya hospital demanding the immediate release of political prisoners and insisting they be given presidential pardons.

Protesters carried banners and chanted on Saturday to protest against the Sri Lankan government's failure and reluctance to hear the cases against its political prisoners, eleven years after the end of the conflict. Therefore, they demanded that their immediate release and pardoning of any crimes should be carried out.

Protesters also demanded answers on the behalf of the families of the disappeared and to stop the forced cremation of Muslim coronavirus victims.

The demonstration was attended by multiple Tamil politicians, including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Vino Noharathalingam, and Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) member Kandiah Arunthavarajah.

Whilst the Sri Lankan government has insisted that it will release all Tamil political prisoners, there are still at least 64 Tamil political prisoners incarcerated across the island. Despite a recent COVID-19 outbreak among Tamil prisoners in Welikada (Magazine) prison in Colombo and cross-party Tamil MP’s calling for the release of Tamil political prisoners, the government has neglected taking action to prompt their release. Protests across Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Batticaloa were carried out today demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners.

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