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Missing persons: Justice Minister denies allegations made against previous govt.

2015 Apr 03

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Dismissing much-touted allegations that thousands had been still held on terrorism charges, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, on Monday said that there were only 210 persons in custody.

The minister stressed that nine held on terrorism charges had been given bail.

The Justice Minister was addressing a gathering of religious leaders at his ministry.

In the run-up to the Jan.8 presidential election, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), overseas LTTEˆgroups and some civil society organisations accused the previous government of holding thousands of political prisoners in secret detention camps.

According to the minister, 134 persons had been remanded had 60 were under investigation and 25 held under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Of the total number, nine have been released on bail.

Recently, Prime Minister Ranil  Wickremesinghe denied the existence of secret detention camps in the country while asserting those who had been categorised as missing were either dead due to the conflict or living overseas.

The previous government on more than one occasion briefed the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) regarding the release of over 11,000 ex-LTTE combatants following rehabilitation.

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