27 October, 2020

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Pathetic Plight Of Fasting Prisoners

By V. Anandasangaree

V. Anandasangaree

V. Anandasangaree

His Excellency Maithripala Srisena, President of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

Your Excellency ,

Permit me to place before you certain facts relating to about 250 prisoners detained in various prisons all over the country engaged in fasting until death. It may be that, all may not be in a position or fit enough to go through but you can rest assured that at least some will go all out.

It is very unfortunate, Your Excellency, that I have no status to speak on their behalf except that I am a Human being, a senior citizen of 82 years old, a lawyer with 50 years of seniority, although not in practice now, 17 years in Parliament, deprived of about 20 years of representation in Parliament by unfair means and having a crime free clear record. I hope these are sufficient enough for me to intervene on behalf of these unfortunate Prisoners.

All these years all the Politicians who intervened on behalf of the Prisoners claimed them as political prisoners and their claims had been consistently disputed as offenders by the Hon Minister of Justice. There must be a fixed term of imprisonment as punishment for any offence and that can’t be more then 20 years for any offence in the penal code (Exclusive of fines). If they had been detained for 20 years obviously they are over punished.

Your Excellency I am not arguing with you about these cases. I am only pleading with you to deal with their cases with the sympathy each case deserves.

Recently a judge had discharged a Bramin Woman who had been in prison for over 20 years. If the case had been taken up for disposal 20 years back, she need not have served a long period in jail. Above all Your Excellency the tradition of the Bramins is that they can’t eat in the presence of others and are governed by many other such rules. Further more if I have not still reached the level of a Lawyer, may I plead with you as a laymen, at least to adopt the following procedure to released them.

Select a modern building in one of the prisons with all facilities and have all those prisoners transferred to that building. Under one set of officers.

Provide them all facilities that they are entitled to, to make them more comfortable.

Select a few retired judges both male and female and form a few panels to inquire each case and to release them accordingly.

That the panels are empowered to deal with them and recommend their release.

The complicated cases if any can be dealt with by senior lawyers or judges and recommend for release without any punishment since they had already served 20 years in jail .

Please consider how your predecessors tackled various matters including those of combatants. I need not tell you how problem should be solved to a person who can arbitrarily save a person condemned to death.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely

V. Anandasangaree, Secretary General-TULF

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Latest comments

  • 1
    6

    I also can’t understand why do we have to retain anyone connected with the LTTE without any court trials anymore when we have already released 12,000 surrendered terrorists after a brief period of rehabilitation.

    Of course we can rearrest them (including the 12,000) depending on the outcome of the pending UN trials.

    Soma

    • 12
      1

      GOSL should listen to Anandasangaree.

      Our criminal jusitice system is totally broken, inside-out corrupt, brutal & utterly inefficient.

      We should not let these people who are incacerated pay the price, because we cannot clean it up.

      Release these prisoners without any further delay.

      Cheers!

      • 6
        4

        I agree with you too.

  • 4
    0

    Mr Anandasangaree,

    The PTA legislation allows persons to be detained without charge for a period of 3 years only.

    The government is committing an illegal act in detaining almost all 250 of them for periods of over 5 years. Most of those in detention were taken into custody in or around the war that ended in 2009.

    Rather than appeal to the intervention of the President who is surrounded by the same irascible rogues who surrounded the Rajapaksas, you need to file a case with the relevant courts on behalf of these unfortunates. They are being held against the prevalent laws of the country.

    Failing which appeal to the UN. Sri Lanka are signatories to the UN Convention on Human Rights.

  • 1
    3

    Prisnrs suffer from mental illness, Drug withdrawal, Withdrawal from a risky life style. Withdrawal from sex. Please address these issues.

  • 2
    6

    I think a lesson from recent history may help here.

    Back in 2002 Ranil/UNP govt made a lot of concessions to the Tamil side. He signed a completely one sided ceasefire agreement that favoured LTTE immensely.

    The LTTE could freely roam anywhere. However the reverse was not permissible.

    The LTTE on the other hand still kept insisting on removing HSZ for example. In the end everything faltered.

    The big picture here is solving the main political problem – not Mickey Mouse issues.

    Solve the biggest problem the Tamil leadership promised to their electorate first. Everything else will fall into place.

    • 0
      6

      Mr Vibhushana

      IN VIEW OF THE PRESENT DEMOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION PATTERN OF TAMIL SPEAKING PEOPLE (IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR RELIGION OR THE DATE OF ARRIVAL) IN THE ISLAND THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE DEVOLUTION MODEL TO SATIFY POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS OF AT LEAST 90% OF THEM.

      There has not been a solution for 67 long years, as many bemoan, BECAUSE there is no conceivable solution.

      Soma

      • 2
        5

        There has not been a solution for 67 long years, as many bemoan, BECAUSE there is no conceivable solution.

        Well, people such as myslef have labored day and night to drive home this point for many years.

        Although given the message is not received we are forced to allow it to happen and then watch it fail.

        Our fervent hope is at least then we have some peace.

      • 7
        0

        soma,

        Go and fly a kite…..

        There is nothing inconceivable about devolving power to the Tamil speaking people. Only stumbling block is the likes of you who regard the Tamils as out siders and the Sinhala the true custodians of the land should not give in!

        This is the real issue. Vibhushana is the champion of the rights of the Sinhala Buddhists. He has been trying to drive home that message for a long while with fabricated history. As soon as the Sinhala language replaced English as the medium of administration, the Sinhala have paved the way for a two nations concept. Whether you like it or not, the Tamil speaking people will demand substantial devolution regardless of sone of them living outside. This is not your problem to worry about.

        • 2
          5

          My Dear Burning Issue, this is my problem. I see that Tamil speaking people are distributed throughout the island. No one one wants to give me the reference of any proposal of a suitable devolution model generated by any political maestro which covers at least 90% of them. Everybody wants me to go and fly a kite.

          You can help me in the process. To begin with the beginning can you enlighten me as to the definition of “Tamil” in the context of a “political solution”. I can make the question clearer, totally unambiguous: Is it the Hindu and Christian Tamil language speakers in the North and East OR is it ALL Tamil speaking people distributed throughout the island irrespective of their religion or the date of arrival.

          Thanks

          Soma

          • 0
            1

            Soma,

            Burning here is the smartest one out of the lot. Now watch how he explains things.

            I can guarantee it will be an eye opener.

            • 0
              0

              See how he will avoid my direct question.

              Soma

          • 1
            0

            somass

            “this is my problem”

            As I see it you are your own problem.

            Though rest of us in this forum love to help you to help yourself, ultimately you will have to find your own cure yourself. As they say ” you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink”. It is almost impossible to make you think.

            “a suitable devolution model generated by any political maestro which covers at least 90% of them.”

            You can do one or two things if you are free a thinking(?) person.

            1. Define the border between Sri Lanka and Thamil Eelam. Order a paced withdrawal Tamils into their Ghetto leaving you to continue your ghetto building project intact. Make sure you cleanse your ghetto of all Tamil speaking people, including all up country hard working Tamils.

            2. You can go back to your ancestral homeland in South India. For South Indians, another 15 million is not a big deal.

            3. I hear that for many of you there is still a good chance of settling down in medieval middle east kingdoms, Pakistan, China, North Korea, or the west.

            Stop whingeing, start working.

        • 0
          1

          B.i.,

          “…regardless of some of them living outside. This is not your problem to worry about. “

          Precisely the situation I am worried about. We don’t want them.
          We may have to buy them a one way ticket.

          Soma

          • 0
            0

            Soma,

            I was going to take time and write an erudite reply; after seeing this post of yours, I know for 100% that you are a Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinist in the mould of Vibhushana and Euse. You asked all those questions because you do not want powers devolved to the Tamil speaking people full stop.

            You say that “we don’t want them we may have to buy them one way ticket”. So you want the Tamils to reciprocate hence ending up in complete separation. This is what you want, right? Are you one of those who do not understand the meaning of power devolution or one who does not want to share power with anyone? It is most likely the latter!

            The Tamil nationalists will love you to bits; they want the Sinhala to take your bait and then the life is easy for them.

            The imbecile Vibhushana on the other hand endeavours to show that the Tamils do not have historical basis for devolving power to them. You take the cue that the Tamils live everywhere but both of you are two sides of the same coin. Tell a Scot or a Welsh that you live in England and you cannot have devolved power! What you need to do is to grow up or go and fly a kite as I said before!

            • 0
              0

              Burning Issue

              “We don’t want them we may have to buy them one way ticket”.

              This is my way of saying that you can’t have a separare ethnic enclave for less than 50% of Tamil speakers. I am a supporter of Ealam PROVIDED all Tamil speakers (Irrespective of their Religion or the date of arrival) are accomodated there. Ask a Sinhala friend of yours the meaning of the parable “Andarege kehelgediya”.

              Soma

            • 0
              0

              At any given time of day 95% of the Scottish live in Scotland.

  • 5
    1

    Mr V. Anandasangaree, you are a citizen of this country and should not write like this, in such a way as to bring ridicule to Mother Lanka.

    This is only a gentle warning from a humble villager; those more imbued with Patriotism, like Hon. Wimal Weerawansa, Ven. Gallabddeaththe Gnanasara, Prof. Gunadasa Amarasekera, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, and Mr H.L.D. Mahindapala, may even want you hanged on Galle Face Green, and thereafter drawn, and your quarters displayed in Wellawatte, Kotahena, Alutgama and Nandikal. Also, Cabinet Minister, Hon. S.B. Dissanayake, may rhapsodise on the pleasures to be obtained by all Sinhalese wenches by seeing this presumptuous octogenerian “Demala” being paraded naked through the streets starting from Hultsdorf , through Pettah, Maradana, Deans Road, Vauxhall Street, and Kompanna Veediya, before being executed by elephants a-la-the-style of our heroic Sinhala kings.

    How unfortunate that we live now in the 21st Century, when the World Community has been influenced by the philosophies of Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, Jeremy Bentham , Bertrand Russel, and Albert Schweitzer. Nelson Mandela fortunately is dead, but then there are those guys like Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, Jose Ramos-Horta, Shirin Ebadi, George Soros, Amal Cloony, and Jimmy Carter, who can never mind their own business.

    And we’ve got to keep an eye on the United Nations. Ban Ki Moon is a continuing problem. We’ve seen that Pillai woman out – she didn’t even have the grace to respond positively to that matrimonial offer in the Sri Lankan Parliament (was it not from the distinguished S.B. Dissanayake?), but now the Arab replacement, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, whose appointment we greeted with such enthusiasm, turns out to be a guy with education in John Hopkins University, and Christ College, Cambridge.

    My personal, uneducated village view is that Gautama Buddha would not really have approved of the arbitrary detention of 250 innocent human beings; and this is becoming a matter of concern to those Sinhalese villagers, like me, who are trying to keep abreast of what is happening in Sri Lanka, now that we have lost the fear of being bundled in to a Rajapaksa white van.

    Please think of future generations of human beings everywhere and act impartially – and quickly: 20 years! Why it amounts to the only part of a human life that is worth living, since these people would just have entered in to adulthood when they were detained.

  • 6
    0

    Sinhala man
    Also add Rahindranah Tagore, Mother Theresa , Noam Chomsky,, Arunrahi Roy, Iron Sharmila KumariJeyawadena, Arunasal Asif Ali,Madam Bin, to the list. of trouble makers who all cannot mind their business.

  • 1
    7

    hang those tamil scums

  • 0
    2

    The fact SLA chose to rehabilitate and release the 12,000 enemy combatants surrendered show the magnanimity and the human nature of the Sri Lankan Government that won the war. It is the diaspora coolies who were busy funding Prabhakaran to kill and maim that has the problem now. They want to exact revenge on the SLA and the war winning government for getting rid of Pol Pot like regime of the LTTE. The prisoners who are in jail now are their for killing and maiming civilians in public places. They were not captured in the battle field. These are they guys who blew up women, children and the elderly on buses, trains and in public markets. They are criminals. They are their going through the criminal justice system. If they are to be release so should be all the other criminals in the prison.

  • 4
    0

    Dear Patriot,

    You are probably a very decent man. You will not like what I am going to say, however.

    You appear to have made up your mind on everything, a priori. I am sorry. I am tired. Pardon me, I’m not going to explain this at length. You may have to look up the meaning of “a priori”.

    Now comes what I find most difficult to say: you are a racist Sinhalese.

    That statement of mine will hurt you, but the issues are too important for me to be beating about the bush. Now, please don’t rush to the conclusion that I am a Tamil masquerading as a Sinhalese. We must build bridges between the two communities, but we can’t do that if you go calling them coolies. We are both using pseudonyms, so please sit down and think it out. We owe it to our grandchildren.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    0

    I have met Mr. Anandasangari two or three times. I do not agree with his politics but he is an honourable gentleman and stand by his positions and policies.

    His request to the President is a legal and humane one. I support his request and the rationale he advances.

    I also fear that if with the release they are not offered psychological counseling and given whatever assistance is necessary for them to reenter a new environment they will become free human wrecks as opposed to unlawfully imprisoned human wrecks. During their years in prison, their living loved ones and friends have changed with time and events. But the prisoners were kept in their cells and and misseries. They will encounter re-entry into a changed family and community environment and not the one they left.

    Mr. President, please demonstrate you humanity in deed rather than in words.

    • 2
      0

      Rohana Wijeweera and thousands of his comrades committed the same crimes – not once but twice – in the nature of alleged offences facing these Tamil youth languishing in jail for periods far in
      excess of their alleged illegal acts. But they (Wijeweera & Co) were not only pardoned but rehabilitated and enabled at State expense to enter the political process. Some of them became Ministers as well, a step that I welcome and applaud. Are these Tamil youth continue to be held because of their ethnicity? And if that is so, where is the justice in the laws. In these very pages the present Minister of Justice swears there are no political prisoners held. Who is fooling whom?

      If the legal process of this country is to have even a semblance of validity, these young men and women should be released forthwith. If the State genuinely believes they are still a danger to society, then arrangements can be made for them to report to the nearest Police Station during reasonable intervals.

      I join the appeal of senior political leader Mr. Anandasangaree to the Yahapalanaya President not only to the immediate release of these political prisoners but also for steps to be taken by the State to help in their process of rehabilitation. President Sirisena, having been a political prisoner himself earlier, will know the tragic dislocation to family life when a young person is taken to prison on political charges.

      Kettikaran

  • 2
    0

    Just reading the comments, I see only hatred, raging anger, vilification and all the filth of human beings being grandly displayed in the name of loyalty to one or the other ethnic group!! Think about it. Where are we going? With this much vengeful anger and disregard for others, we are doomed.

    • 1
      0

      Mr. K.Soysa,

      I agree with you and share your concern. I am sure my feelings coincide with those of most Tamils in the country. The truth is
      Sinhala and Tamil people were divided from the time Anagarika Dharmapala, identified as a Buddhist leader and revivalist, planted the seeds of dissension between the two communities. Although he cunningly began this strategy pouring hatred at the Indian communities this same man, given to anger and intolerance, was to take refuge in India itself where, I believe, he eventually died. The gap widened during the 1952/56 period resulting in both people looking at each other with suspicion and indifference. The local “War” during the 1980/2000s further sharpened this divide.

      Throughout it was the Buddhist hierarchy that identified itself with this “we” and “they” syndrome suggesting the entire island belonged to the Sinhalese only. They mischievously twisted history to falsely suggest Tamils were unwelcome “visitors” from India. That, as you know, is in conflict with history from ancient times. There is much anthropological evidence, even from Sinhala scholars, to suggest both Sinhalese and Tamils came from the same genetic pool.

      To make a long thing short, it is now up to the Buddhist hierarchy to reach out to the Tamils in a spirit where they accept the Island also is home to Tamils. This was anathema to the Buddhist clergy until recently. Things have, hopefully, changed. Well known Buddhist clerics now accept the Island is home to Tamils also. It is, therefore, time for the Malwatta, Asgiriya, Amarapura and other main Mahanayakas to tell this to the entire country – loud and clear – and in unamiguous terms. The Ven. Maduluwawe Sobita Thero, widely credited to have ushered in the “January 08 Revolution” has said so openly and publicly. This first step, I believe, will go out a long way to reconcile the two major communities.

      Kettikaran

      • 0
        0

        Mr Kettikaran

        ” To make a long thing short, it is now up to the Buddhist hierarchy to reach out to the Tamils in a spirit where they accept the Island also is home to Tamils.”

        This is precisely what the Buddhist clergy are saying in one voice. There are no separate homelands for Tamil speaking people. Or further sub divisions based on the religion. Tamil speakers are living all over the island. We are mot pushing them into one geographical area. It is one Sri Lanka for all. To say that all must live in one country as equal citizens is not racism.

        Soma

  • 0
    1

    Leave the Tamil political prisoners to a side for a moment.
    Mr.Ananthasangari! Could you all Tamil leaders join together and speak with one voice. Can I have an answer please.

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