The Tamil political prisoners who had refused to accept rehabilitation and demanded unconditional release are now willing to accept rehabilitation, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran said.
Sumanthiran told Parliament that while the lawyers of the prisoners had said earlier that the inmates will not accept rehabilitation, those same inmates have now changed their minds.
Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms D.M. Swaminathan said that the Government is ready to offer the option of rehabilitation once again to the prisoners who had refused to accept it earlier.
While some Tamil political prisoners had accepted rehabilitation and were eventually freed, a few others refused to accept it and some of them are now on a hunger strike.
Opposition leader R. Sampanthan however asked the Government how the Tamil political prisoners can continue to be kept in detention after being arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) especially if the current Government has taken a policy against the PTA.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera responded by saying that the Government is still opposed to the PTA and the process to repeal the PTA is now underway. (Colombo Gazette)