Sampanthan, PM discuss new counter-terror legislation:
TNA requests general amnesty for PTA prisoners:

The Government has undertaken to expedite the cases of persons who had been held in custody or detention for a long time under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Opposition Leader and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees on Wednesday to discuss matters pertaining to the prisoners detained under the PTA and the new counter-terror legislation.

The meeting was also attended by Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya and TNA MP M.A.Sumanthiran.

During the meeting that extended for about two hours, the Attorney General has agreed to come up with a mechanism within three days to expedite the remaining cases of the PTA detainees.

According to sources, the TNA had requested the Government to release the prisoners detained under the PTA without further delay. The Opposition Leader had pointed out that these detainees and their family members have suffered very long periods of time.

He had noted that the TNA political representatives had given repeated assurances to the people in their electorate that they would resolve the problem of PTA detainees through negotiation with the Government and that they could no longer make them wait.

The Government had briefed the TNA leadership about the current status of legal proceedings with regard to the PTA detainees. According to sources, the TNA had requested general amnesty for the prisoners held under the PTA and the Government members had told them to wait till President Maithripala Sirisena returns to the country to continue the discussions as the power to grant general amnesty lies with him.

Another round of discussions to reach a solution to the matter has been scheduled for next Tuesday at the Justice Ministry.




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