Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena Movement Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero urged the President to appoint a special commission to release political prisoners, including Duminda Silva, who was sent to prison for the assassination of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.
Upon appointing a special commission, the cases leveled against these prisoners should be reviewed, the Thera said.
"Prisoners who should be pardoned but locked up as a result of the fault in these regimes should be immediately released. There are many. I once knew a person. He was from Ruwanwella. He was a very religious person. Been locked up for over five years now. There are people aged over 70. They should be put in an elders' house. They die without reason. These people can be released.
I am also aware that some of them have been imprisoned due to political conflicts and misuse of law. They were being kicked of like footballs. This is a crime. We ask from the President to immediately appoint a special commission to re-investigate these matters.
There are a few political prisoners. And there are people who should be released immediately. War heroes for instance, people like Sunil Rathnayake are still inside. Need we remind you that there are LTTE prisoners. Many of them have been rehabilitated. Some of them have not even been prosecuted. This is a crime. We met some of the young people from the LTTE, saying that they got it all wrong at some point of their lives. They said if we were in the North back then, we would have done the same. Now they have nothing left to do. They have understood the truth. They need to be socialized. But they are not given the chance.
Think of Duminda Silva for instance. True there may be allegations. But something got wrong somewhere. Maybe shots were fired from Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra's side. Fortunately this man was not shot. The man who survived the attack was put in prison. When did it go wrong? Was it properly investigated? Acting on political impulse is a big question. A proper investigation should be launched in this regard, and people like Sunil Rathnayake, or any other political prisoners, should be brought before a just investigation. We saw how that case was sidelined as a murder and turned into a political struggle. That is very wrong. Keeping a man behind bars that way, even for a day, is very wrong," the Thera said.
Gnanasara Thero made these observations speaking to a press briefing recently.