Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa raised concerns in Parliament yesterday (22) over LTTE suspects held in remand for a long period without any legal action being taken against them.
Minister Rajapaksa requested the Speaker, the Justice Minister and the Attorney General to take this issue into consideration and take action to do justice by these prisoners.
Minister Rajapaksa pointed out that the government has already rehabilitated more than 12,000 ex-LTTE carders and recruited more than 3,000 of them to the Civil Security Force and requested to consider this method as an option when meting justice by the LTTE prisoners held in remand for long period.
Minister Namal Rajapaksa stated, “There are many youths who could not obtain bail and complete their cases due to certain delays are currently being held in prisons. A large number of them have been imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism for many years. During the Yahapalana government some of us including Ministers Johnston Fernando, Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawansa, Rohitha Abeygunawardena were remanded for a period of time. Thanks to that we were able to personally witness what was happening in prisons.”
Minister Rajapaksa observed, “Among these remand prisoners were those who do not even have a case filed against them. There are a lot of LTTE suspects. There are 35 convicted prisoners who have been in remand for a longer period than the actual sentence they received. There are thirty eight priosners whose cases are pending before the High Court for more than 20 years. They are still in remand custody. There are 13 against whom no case has been filed. Then there are 116 who had not filed indictments after completing their trials. In this context, a large number of young lives are being ruined. Either these people need to be prosecuted, filed indictments or be rehabilitated.”
“Some of the remanded prisoners have been in them longer than my age. No charges have been filed against them till today. There must be some justice for these people. We should do justice to these people by the intervention of the Justice Minister or the Attorney General or rehabilitation or by some other means. Our government definitely stands against the injustice that happened to the people of this country.” Minister Rajapaksa said.