Selvarasa Kajendran, an MP from the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), visited the Anuradhapura prison to meet the Tamil prisoners detained in it. Speaking to the press, he said that they are “suffering great mental distress” following the episode with former Prisons Minister Lohan Ratwatte who threatened to kill them and forced them to kneel.
Kajendran went to see the prisoners at the urging of their relatives who were worried about their family members’ plight during detention.
This is the second time that a member of the TNPF is visiting the prisoners, the first time being the visit by TNPF leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and a coterie of attorneys on September 16.
Speaking to the press after meeting the prisoners, Kajendran said that the prisoners are “suffering great mental distress” and that a minister who engages in such acts should not just be asked to resign but also an investigation be launched against him and proper legal action be taken.
He also stressed that the cases of political prisoners in courts be expedited and that they be transferred to prisons close to their provinces until the investigation proceeds.
TNPF Ponnambalam publicised through Twitter Ratwatte’s daring act on September 12 when he entered the prison premises inebriated and forced Tamil prisoners to kneel at gun-point.
Due to the public uproar that followed and widespread condemnation of his act, Ratwatte resigned from his post as minister.