Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-11-10 19:56:51
Over 200 minority Tamil prisoners, including former Tamil Tiger rebels, re-started a hunger strike in jails across Sri Lanka on Tuesday for their immediate release.
The prisoners launched a similar fast last month but ended it after an assurance from President Maithripala Sirisena that their grievances would be addressed.
Sirisena had vowed to release the former Tamil Tiger rebels imprisoned for minor offenses before Nov. 7 and expedite the remaining cases but due to the government’s delay, the prisoners had re-commenced the hunger strike, officials from the Prisons Department said.
The prisoners claimed that they had been detained for years without a fair trial and asked the authorities to address their grievances immediately.
Most of the prisoners had been arrested during Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war for suspected involvement with the rebels. Although the conflict ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebels, many remained in jails across the island nation.
Opposition parliamentarians from minority parties have alleged that at least 300 political prisoners who were arrested during the previous Mahinda Rajapakse government continued to be jailed in the country.
During last month’s hunger strike, eight inmates were taken to the Prison’s Hospital in the capital after refusing food for three days.