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Tamil Lawyers Forum urges release of Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka

The Tamil Lawyers Forum released a statement today calling on Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to release all Tamil political prisoners that are currently being held in Sri Lankan prisons.

“Following the failure of President Maithripala Sirisena to resolve the issue of the Tamil political prisoners before the 7th of November 2015 as promised, the inmates have resumed their fast unto death,” said the Tamil Lawyers Forum.

“Even the promise that 32 inmates will be released on Monday the 9th November was not honoured. This does not come as a surprise to many. The familiar pattern of unwillingness, intransigence, vacillation and reneging on promises by the Sri Lankan state and politicians vis a vis ethnicity related issues is only too well known.”

Highlighting Sri Lanka’s “entrenched and systemic discriminatory policy practiced by the Sri Lankan state towards its Tamils citizens”, the group called for the Sri Lankan government to “seriously consider the release of all political prisoners under whatever category they may be classified”.

The statement concluded by saying,

“Tamil Lawyers Forum further requests the President to give effect to his promise to release all political prisoners forthwith and to act directly without intermediaries in the matter to salvage the goodwill and hope entertained by people who helped elect the President and the new government that promised to usher in a new era and reconciliation”.

See the full statement here.