Ten Tamils who were arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), for commemorating the Mullivaikkal genocide, were released on bail this morning by Valaichenai court.
The group of Tamils were arrested on May 18, for holding a vigil to mark Tamil Genocide Day and commemorate the genocide of Tamils committed by Sri Lankan security forces at the end of the armed conflict in 2009. All of the ten individuals were released on bail after a petition was filed by Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) lawyer, Kanagaratnam Sugash.
At the time of arrest, Sri Lankan Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana, claimed the group was arrested for commemorating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The state has intensified its attempts to stifle Tamil memorialisation by using the PTA to target and arrest individuals who hold commemoration events and seeking court bans to suppress any commemoration activites.
The PTA has been linked to cases of enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture but despite domestic and international calls for the PTA to be repealed, the Rajapaksa regime have continued to use it to arrest Tamils and Muslims.
Last week, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris said that the notorious legislation will not be repealed due to "security issues" on the island.
Earlier this year, the EU passed a resolution condemning Sri Lanka's continued use of the PTA, highlighting that the legislation "contains deeply flawed provisions including enabling warrantless arrests and 18-month detentions with limited court oversight."