Leader of Tamil Progressive Alliance and Sri Lankan lawmaker Mano Ganesan slammed Ranil Wickremesinghe over his failure to release Tamil political prisoners and his apparent request to the Tamil diaspora to provide a list of those still imprisoned.
In a tweet sent earlier today, Ganesa stated that WIckremesinghe "makes comedy out of tragedy!".
"He requests the list of #Tamil_prisoners from the #Tamil_Diaspora! Instead he can instruct Commissioner General of Prisons dept to provide him a complete uptodate detailed list of all remanded under PTA since 1978! "
President @RW_UNP makes comedy out of tragedy! He requests the list of #Tamil_prisoners from the #Tamil_Diaspora! Instead he can instruct Commissioner General of Prisons dept to provide him a complete uptodate detailed list of all remanded under PTA since 1978! #manoganesan pic.twitter.com/XkAmaz0vRu
— Mano Ganesan (@ManoGanesan) September 25, 2022
It is unknown how many Tamils have ben incarcerated, but lawmakers claim hundreds of Tamil political prisoners continue to languish in Sri Lankan prisons under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
In October 2021, a Tamil man from Amparai who was incarcerated as a teenager was released after being held for 12 years without charge. In December that same year, another 45-year-old Tamil man was released and acquitted of all charges after 15 years in detention. Recent years has seen the use of the PTA ramp up under the presidency of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Sivagnanam Sritharan told Sri Lanka’s parliament in October 2021 that, “39 [Tamils were] arrested in North-East in last three months” alone.
Just this week, at least three Tamil activists were arrested by Sri Lankan authorities after they protested against the illegal construction of a Buddhist vihara in Mullaitivu.
Subsequent protests were held in Mullaitivu and Jaffna demanding the activists be released without charge and Sinhala Buddhist colonisation halted.