Tamils of Lankan raise the release of political prisoners with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
COLOMBO: Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa He has assured the country's Tamil leaders that he will discuss with the president the release of political prisoners who have been held for up to 15 years.
A delegation of the (TNA), Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, met the prime minister on Monday for a separate discussion on the prisoners issue after attending an all-party meeting convened by Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The gathering of all parliamentarians was boycotted by the Opposition after the government rejected its seven suggestions, which included the resumption of Parliament to discuss issues related to Covid-19.
The TNA was the only major opposition party to attend the meeting.
TNA spokesman MA Sumanthiran said Tuesday: We take the opportunity to meet with the prime minister. Our representatives from the north and east presented their problems in the region.
We (also) raise the issue of political prisoners who are detained for more than 10 years to 15 years, Sumanthiran said.
The TNA leader said Mahinda promised to raise the issue with his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country's president.
Sumanthiran, who is a signatory to the letter from the seven opposition parties, said the TNA was firm in its opinion that Parliament should be called again.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has dismissed the Opposition's demands on March 2.
Meanwhile, the country's parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for April 25, have been postponed by the Electoral Commission until June 20 in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The new Parliament must meet at least once before June 2 or within 3 months after the dissolution of the previous one on March 2, to avoid constitutional irregularities.
The coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last November, has claimed more than 250,000 lives and infected 3.5 million people.
The virus has killed eight people with 755 positive cases in Sri Lanka.