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Tamils arrested, detained and now finally released for lighting candles

A group of 10 Tamils who were arrested under the Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and detained for almost 7 months for holding a remembrance ceremony to mark Tamil Genocide Day, have finally been released without charge on Monday.

The group of Tamil men and women held a memorial event at the beach in Kalkudah last year, lighting a flame of remembrance and laying flowers to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamils killed by Sri Lankan security forces in 2009.

Shortly afterwards however, Sri Lankan security forces arrested members of the group claiming that they were commemorating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). At the time, Sri Lankan Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana claimed that people are prohibited from commemorating the LTTE. “The leader of the arrested group has been identified as a 38-year-old male who runs a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO),” added Adaderena.

The Tamils were detained for 7 months, before being released on bail.

On Monday, all charges against them were dropped.

Despite domestic and international calls for the PTA to be repealed, the Rajapaksa regime have continued to use it to arrest Tamils and Muslims. The draconian legislation which has been linked to cases of enforced disappearances, sexual violence and torture. 

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