The apparent confessions of three Tamil political prisoners were today rejected by the Vavuniya High Court, and the case has been fixed for trial on October 14th.
The confessions were filed by the political prisoners Rasathurai Thiruvarul, Mathiarasan Sulakshan and Ganeshan Tharshan in 2013.
All three were first arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in 2009. They have remained in Sri Lankan custody ever since. The PTA has been used for decades to arbitrarily detain Tamils and Muslims and to force false confessions.
The men were reportedly part of a group of Tamil political prisoners who were threatened by Sri Lankan Minister Lohan Ratwatte last year. Ratwatte formerly served as prisons minister. In September of 2021, Ratwatte reportedly drunkenly stormed Anaradhpura prison and forced ten Tamil inmates to kneel before him at gunpoint.
During the incident Ratwatte asked the inmates one by one if they had killed any soldiers.
Whilst continuing to point his gun at the Tamil inmates Ratwatte said “you sent complaints to the United Nations and Geneva, but nothing will happen, and we will never let anything happen” he continued “when the president gave me the minister position, he told me to do whatever I wanted with Tamil political prisoners […] I can release you or I can kill you.”