Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan has once again appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena today, October 12, to release all prisoners held under Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act for years as government pledged locally and international community to repeal it with an alternative law.
In his letter to President Sirisena, Sampanthan said that there is an unnecessary complication that has been created by the transfer of some cases from Vavuniya to Anuradhapura. Three detainees commenced a fast demanding that their cases should be heard in Vavuniya courts. These persons are held in custody under the PTA irrespective of whether they have been convicted, have been charged, or have not yet been charged. They have been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Law and all action taken against them has been in terms of that Law. If witnesses needed .protection, such protection could have been provided without the cases being transferred.
He went on that it has been accepted by the Sri Lankan State both domestically and internationally that, the said Prevention of Terrorism Law is draconian, obnoxious, and should therefore be regarded as obsolete. The Sri Lankan State has made several commitments both domestically and internationally that the said Law will be repealed, and that a new Law will be enacted in keeping with acceptable domestic and international norms. The Sri Lankan State is yet to fulfill this commitment.