The Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly ordered that Tamil political prisoners trials should be ‘concluded’ before January 2019.
Sirisena issued the directive at his cabinet meeting on Wednesday, News First reports.
Earlier this year Sirisena said “there are no political prisoners in Sri Lanka” and dismissed ongoing protests by Tamils across the North-East over disappearances and political prisoners, claiming they were instigated by ‘misleading’ NGOs.
He made these comments around six months after meeting with families of Tamil political prisoners and promising to resolve their problems.
In June last year, Sirisena also met with families of the disappeared and promised that he would instruct for the release of lists of surrenders, detainees and political prisoners the very next day. Disappearance activists continue to note that not a single promise from the June 2017 meeting has been fulfilled to date.