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Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka go on hunger strike


Colombo, Sep 23: Some 20 Tamil political prisoners held in Sri Lanka have gone on a hunger strike protesting against their detention, prison officials said.

The prisoners, currently lodged in north central Anuradhapura prison have been on a hunger strike demanding their release since Wednesday, they said.


They demand that if their cases are being further delayed, the cases must be transferred to the court in the northern towns of Vavuniya and Jaffna which are Tamil- dominated. Prison officials said they are considering transferring some of the prisoners on hunger strike to the Jaffna prison for the convenience of their relatives.

The suspects held for LTTE activities are dubbed political prisoners by the Tamil groups. Meanwhile the main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), said they welcomed the announcement by the government that 23 political prisoners, a separate group of Tamils, will be released through the process of rehabilitation.

"We urge the government to continue this process of re-evaluation and release the rest of the political prisoners also without delay," the TNA statement said.

The Ministry of Resettlement and Rehabilitation said the rehabilitation offer is being made to 23 of 96 suspects arrested over alleged links to the LTTE.


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