Published On: Wed, Nov 1st, 2017

Kalutara prison attack I forgave my attackers a long time ago-Douglas

The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader and Jaffna District Parliamentarian Douglas Devananda, commenting on the sentence given to the men who attempted to kill him inside the Kalutara prison in July 1998, said that he had pardoned them long ago and that they should make an appeal against the verdict passed on them by the Colombo High Court on Monday (31).

He told Ceylon Today that the attack at the Kalutara Prison was the second such attack he had experienced. The first one was when he was detained at the Welikada prison in Colombo in 1983.

Colombo High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe sentenced six of the accused to rigorous imprisonment of ten and half years.

Recalling the ordeal at in Kalutara, Devananda said “I was almost killed in the attack on July 30, 1998. Soon after the attack, I was rushed to the Nagoda hospital and from there I was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Colombo hospital. I was unconscious for two days. Thereafter, I was taken to Singapore for further treatment and returned to Colombo after two weeks.”

As someone who had been detained under the PTA, he lamented over the plight of other Tamil prisoners similarly detained without charge. He stressed that the legal process should be expedited and they should be released as early as possible.

“I am sorry about the sentence passed on the six men. They should appeal against the verdict. I will not stand against them getting released” Devananda said.

Commenting further on the demonstrations held in the North and East demanding the release of three PTA detainees at the Anuradhapura prison, Devananda said that those detained under the PTA should be released under a general amnesty.

He also said that as President Mithripala Sirisena released an LTTE cadre who attempted to kill him, under a general amnesty a year ago, he should release all those detained for years under the PTA sans charges without further delay.

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