By Meera Srinivasan
Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought the release of “political prisoners” who were arrested — some convicted — for their alleged association with or role in the rebel LTTE during the civil war.
On Tuesday night, TNA spokesman and former Jaffna parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran handed over a list of the detainees under Sri Lanka’s controversial Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“There are 96 political prisoners in all and 47 of them were convicted. Only a presidential pardon can release them,” he said, referring to the Sri Lankan President’s discretionary power to grant amnesty. In March this year, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pardoned a soldier who was on death row for killing eight Tamil civilians, including a five-year-old, during the civil war.
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