Tamil political prisoners have restarted a hunger strike demanding a general amnesty despite a government decision to release some of the inmates on bail conditions.
According to authorities at the Prisons department, the first batch of Tamil political prisoners numbering 30 will be released tomorrow.
Despite this fact, prisoners numbering around 200 are on a hunger strike again demanding an amnesty for all the inmates, a prisons official said.
Meanwhile opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said another 31 prisoners will be released on 20 November. But a firm decision on the fate of the rest of the prisoners has not been taken.
After a five day hunger strike last month the Tamil prisoners chose to suspend their fast after President Maithripala Sirisena assured to expedite the processing of their cases.
However later the government said it has decided not to grant a common amnesty to the Tamil prisoners but will expedite bail procedures for a section of the Tamil prisoners who are charged with minor offences.
According to Tamil political leaders, at least 300 Tamil political prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act are in jails across the island.
However, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on several occasion has said that there are no political prisoners held in any of Sri Lanka’s prisons and some of the LTTE suspects held in the prisons currently are already serving sentences and others are awaiting court action. He said that all these suspects have charges against them relating to bombings and killings.