23 March, 2019

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Prisoners Of PTA: An Appeal To The President

By Ratna Bala

Dr Ratna Bala

Dr Ratna Bala

His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena,
President of Sri Lanka

Your Excellency,

You already know the plight of the Tamil prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) held in prisons for many years. They may have had hope that end of war would pave the way for them to be with their families soon. Since then they have made several kind requests for compassionate consideration of their plight. When all their hopes were in vain for last six years as last resort they are now on fast unto death-sathyagraha and praying that your heart will feel their anguish and come to rescue them.

Your Excellency,

Thirty years of brutal war have done enough damage to our people and the country. Many parents have lost their children, many children have become orphans and many women have become widows. Many have disappeared and their loved ones are still looking for them.

These people who were arrested under PTA have spent many valuable years of their lives in prison and seen their lives silently nibbled away. All these years they lived with hurting heart knowing their parents and families too are undergoing extreme hardship outside the fence. For all these years of sufferings many of them haven’t done any significant crime that can’t be pardoned at this juncture.

Your Excellency,

After the end of war we are talking and talking about reconciliation without any significant steps to build trust and hope. Only if we can listen to our own people we can find what is important to heal ourselves. With so much of talking, over and over again we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t.

Your Excellency,

I earnestly appeal for your magnanimity to pardon these prisoners, who have not been proven to be committed any major crime, before they succumb with their despair. Please also ensure to provide help for them to live as responsible citizens. Risks and cost are nothing considering the hope and trust established by this noble act. This would without doubt build bridges and narrow the gulf between communities.

I am very reluctant to write this appeal. Many political leaders have already requested to release them. I really don’t know how this would persuade or contribute more. Even then my heart feels confident and believes for sure that you would help them to reunite with their families without further delay.

Thank you

Dr. R.J. Bala

 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Dr Bala,
    we are very grateful for your good work. Whether the Excellency listens or not is one question. But at least it is a bit relief and happy to see someone concerned about these people. Now we know that UN and all big brothers are responsible for the genocide of Tamil people. Hence we are not going to see any justice. All would be under the carpet. We simply beg our Majority Sinhalese and their leaders to saw some mercy. No other way!!!!!. Hope for the best while begging our majority and their Excellency. Until they are released It is frightening to think back what happened to the Tamil prisoners in 1983. I remember one of the prisoners mentioned to donate his eyes to somebody. Simply for the reasons they removed this prisoners eyes while He was still alive( before killing him). Hope before the same happens, they would be released
    We are just powerless so beg for the mercy!!!!
    KEEP DOING your good work

    • 6
      2

      Dear sinhala friend,

      ” I remember one of the prisoners mentioned to donate his eyes to somebody. Simply for the reasons they removed this prisoners eyes while He was still alive( before killing him)”

      Shocking! But probably true.

      The time is 12.20 p.m. on Thursday, 15th October 2015. I myself posted four separate comments this morning, and am waiting for mine to appear. Yes, our community has much to atone for, but the Tamil community must also realise the complexity of the situation.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Sinhala man and Sinhala friend,

        It is Kuttimani who said when he was sentenced to death by the courts ” I am happy to die, so that after death my eyes can be used on a person and he could see the birth of Ealam”. Due to this statement revenge was taken during prison massacre in 1983. Despite persons responsible being named no action was taken.

        Kuttimani was arrested in Madras by Indian police with the help of Indian and Tamil Nadu government headed by Karunanidhi in 1982 and repatriated to Srilanka for trial. At that time there was a golden chance to settle Tamil problem as India was co-operating, but Srilanka was only interested on violence to subdue Tamils.

        • 2
          0

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

          “Kuttimani was arrested in Madras by Indian police with the help of Indian and Tamil Nadu government headed by Karunanidhi in 1982 and repatriated to Srilanka for trial.”

          Please confirm your story with your people as this not sound right.

          My Tamil friends tell me that Kutimani was arrested by Sri Lankan armed forces (Navy ?) after a tip off from VP.

          Kutimani vowed to bump off VP if and when he got the opportunity to leave prison, according to his lawyers.

        • 0
          0

          Kuttimani’s eyes were removed while he was held down, by the airplane hijacker Sepala Ekanayake, in Welikada prison.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepala_Ekanayake

          • 0
            0

            I didn’t know these details; it looks as though Sepala Ekanayake now lives a comfortable life! Little wonder that the Tamil community fear that justice will never be done.

            Nor can we ensure that all such cases can be adequately addressed. I think that we must be willing to accept that some of these criminals will not be brought to book. Let us work for a better future.

        • 0
          0

          Thanks, Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,

          For these vile acts, I would like to say that the Sinhala people as a whole must atone. I would like to add my personal apology that we, the Sinhalese, have run the country in such a way that such things happened.

          We need to rebuild our country and imbue it with proper values. We need your active help to achieve these ends. I try not to focus on acts of commission by Tamils; that is for you to investigate and rectify. We need to be equal partners in undertaking all that has to be done.

          My best wishes go to you!

  • 3
    2

    Why appeal to the magnanimity of the president. My3 is more interested in showing magananimity to his immidiate family and friends and the irascible rogues that surrounded the Rajapaksa family (seven of them are ministers in the Yahapalanaya government). Please rest assured Dr Bala that the magnanimity of most Sri Lankan politicians are misplaced or totally lacking.

    Instead appeal to the courts. Under PTA a person can be held without charge for only 3 years. Not indefinitely. You will have better luck going to court. Failing which appeal to UNHRC. Sri Lanka are signatories to the UN Convention on Human Rights.

    • 3
      1

      Disgusting BBS Rep,

      Be realistic! Politicians will always be politicians, but if we overlook what is ephemeral, I say, today, that Maithri is well on the way to proving himself a great Statesman!

      Mandela is our yardstick at the moment. Three times married. We all make mistakes. Daham Sirisena at the United Nations was one, may be Kumarasinghe Sirisena at TELECOM was a more serious mistake. For some it may be that My3 not being able to address the U.N. in English is another – well, not for me.

      Why should only Tamils have to go to courts to redress grievances:

      http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/546

      Let me be honest; I haven’t read all 118 comments. Perhaps I should, in the same spirit as when I ploughed through all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, considering the ramifications of all the ambiguities. Life is short, my friend, and I’m getting ready to push up the daisies!

  • 3
    3

    It is because MR brought the bloody war to an end and thousands of Tamils lost their lives,Tamils voted for MS overwhelmingly.Other than governor and the chief secretary were changed,release of some acres of land nothing has been done with regard to the political solution.

    Tamils trusted MS and expected a lot from him.

    President has the full power to order the release of the Tamil prisoners who have been detained for years without trial.

    If the government really wants to win the hearts and minds of the Tamils,Tamil prisoners should be released immediately.

    People who supported the regime change, wanted good governance not revenge governance.

  • 3
    0

    Dear Kind President,

    Please release them and put them for rehabilitation to unite with the society as their children, wife and relatives are suffered more then what the judiciary can give. Most of prisoners already sent many years there and they already lost the life however if you can pardon them that will help their relatives etc.

    For the fact non of these prisoners has big money or background and there were motivated by LTTE and also they had to do otherwise they had to lost their relatives and most of them just arrested without credible evidence that i feel

  • 1
    4

    The govt must free these prisoners immediately.

    At the end of a long drawn out war pursuing individual cases has no meaning. The slain MP Raviraj who was much loved by the Sinhala TV audiences used to say ” Don’t tell me this man was killed by the LTTE and that man was killed by the army. Both men were killed by the WAR. Therefore we must bring this war to an end immediately.”

    But the Tamils who demand accountability on one side of a 30 year long war has no right to ask for their release. It would be an irony if this writer belongs to the same camp.

    They can be rearrested (along with the 12,000 released earlier) depending on the outcome of the pending UN trials. This option left in the hands of the Sinhla side must be stressed and impressed upon the Diaspora and the TNA.

    Soma

  • 6
    2

    Dear Dr Ratna Bala,

    I am a man who worked hard to get President Maithripala elected. Colombo Telegraph, in particular, has recently been publishing many nasty LITTLE stories about Maithri, which I fear are very minor things, taken out of context. But I feel that many of us were thinking of much bigger issues in January 2015.

    What you have written about is one of them. I have been a bit tongue-in-cheek writing my comment here:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/pathetic-plight-of-fasting-prisoners/

    In writing this, I was more straightforward:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/no-political-prisoners-in-this-country-justice-minister-rajapakshe/

    I also observe that this man who is young enough to get my vote at a future Presidential Election has also commented on the same subject:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/release-all-political-prisoners-as-agreed-suma-tells-govt/

    Yes, this issue is one that ought to concern all Sri Lankans. However, please be careful how you handle this! Not all citizens of our country have the time to read all this or to consider all these issues. Our education system has churned out a lot of young people who’ve been brain-washed by “Apartheid Education”. Please don’t blame them.

    On the other hand, some of these detainees may have actively “aided and abetted” the awful Tigers. I have absolutely no problem with people admiring the Tigers. I don’t, but that is their business. Fifteen years ago is such a long time, that it may not matter my telling you this: doing a re-scrutiny of an A. Level General English paper, I increased the mark from 23 to 65%. The candidate had written about “The Person he/she Admired the Most” – Veluppillai Prabhakaran.

    I’m sure all human beings have made mistakes; most have knowingly done something wrong at some time in their lives. Reconcilliation must be accompanied by forgiveness.

    • 1
      0

      Yes,with truth and forgiveness not with accountability and punishment.

      • 1
        1

        somass

        “Yes,with truth and forgiveness not with accountability and punishment.”

        Accountability does not necessarily mean nor leading to punishment. Check “accountability in governance” in Google.

        • 0
          0

          May be in the dictionaries, not in the context of this whole exercise which is abundantly clear. They are not talking about a “commission”. They are “courts” – hybrid or otherwise. What the Tamil political class is clamoring for is blood. Don’t try to fool yourself – attempting to fool others is quite another matter.

          I am not sure whether the South African exercise involved “accountability” and “courts”.

          The few genuine Tamil intellectuals will be disappointed to see that the “truth” is forever buried.

          Reconciliation? Let’s wait until this whole process is over.

          Soma

          • 0
            0

            Thanks, Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,

            For these vile acts, I would like to say that the Sinhala people as a whole must atone. I would like to add my personal apology that we, the Sinhalese, have run the country in such a way that such things happened.

            We need to rebuild our country and imbue it with proper values. We need your active help to achieve these ends. I try not to focus on acts of commission by Tamils; that is for you to investigate and rectify. We need to be equal partners in undertaking all that has to be done.

            My best wishes go to you!

          • 0
            0

            Dear Soma,

            You have spelt it out well. Many in the Tamil community, too, must change their approach.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Soma,

            /////”The few genuine Tamil intellectuals will be disappointed to see that the “truth” is forever buried” /////

            Everybody who love this tiny nation should be disappointed, tranquil nation building can only be achieved only by facts as foundation!

    • 3
      0

      Sinhala_Man

      “Reconcilliation must be accompanied by forgiveness.”

      That is one reason as to why I insist on Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

  • 2
    2

    How can the government release Tamil war criminals when the Tamils are insisting on Sinhalese war criminals being brought to justice? They should all be tried by the same court.

    • 3
      2

      Paul,

      How many Sinhala war criminals have been identified so far, let alone being tried or even arrested?
      Sengodan. M

    • 0
      0

      The Tamils have been punished by being incarcerated for lengthy periods.

      To be fair, the Sinhalese who did bad things should also be punished.

  • 2
    1

    Mr President,
    The govt of Sri Lanka should not do what the US govt is doing at Guantanamo. We can show them the way.

  • 0
    1

    Fall on President Maithiripala Sirisena’s feet and beg for the release of the political prisoners. Even then it will not happen. Because it is a process of a good governance and reconciliation . The Tamil leadership has yet to learn the motives of the Sinhala Regime. The Tamil leadership will beg for votes from the people and once elected, their egoism will show up.

  • 4
    0

    Dr Ratna Bala

    An Appeal To The President

    His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena,
President of Sri Lanka

    Your Excellency,

    *** Dr,Bala,

    Yo demean the word Excellency.

    Maithri doesnt fit the description .

    1) You already know the plight of the Tamil prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) held in prisons for many years.

    *** Not until the UN report.

    He was eleced with the Tamil vote nearly 10 Moths ago. His Government has up to now denied there are any persons detained untill the UN revvaeled the existence of Secret Military Camps whe thousands are still locked up tortured.

    MS and RW should be ashamed of themselves.

    2) They may have had hope that end of war would pave the way for them to be with their families soon. Since then they have made several kind requests for compassionate consideration of their plight. When all their hopes were in vain for last six years as last resort they are now on fast unto death-sathyagraha and praying that your heart will feel their anguish and come to rescue them.

    *** Not in Animal Country like Sinhala Lanka

    3) Your Excellency,

    *** Stop being a Pankawala .

    4) Your Excellency,

    What are you a Record Player.

    5) Your Excellency,

    I am very reluctant to write this appeal.

    Thank you

    ” Kali”

  • 0
    1

    Native.

    I was a bit late to catch your response about Kuttimany.
    N.Satyendra,son of S.Nadesan QC.defended him at the Trial.
    He was betrayed by VP.
    I have never been able to figure out the Tamil mind!

    • 1
      0

      Plato

      There is no difference between Tamil and Sinhalese mind.

      Both people are self destructive.

      Both turn every opportunity into disaster

      Both create more disasters to solve earlier diasaters.

      Self serving

      Rage 24/7/52 basis until they die.

      Both believe individually they are clever and deserve Nobel prizes for all categories, Physics, Chemistry, Peace, Litrature, Medicine, Economics, each year and every year.

      and more.

  • 0
    1

    Paul.

    The Criminal Justice Commission was established by the Govt:of the day to try the JVP FOR THE INSURRECTION OF 1971.Justice A.C.Alles presided.S.Nadesan QC.appeared for some of them.In 1977,when JR came into power all were released without any conditions.
    Why should there be double standards when it comes to Tamil Prisoners?
    Lets forget about ethnicity.Lets be fair.

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