Dec 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says the government would have to face repercussions if it continues to act in a heavy-handed manner.
TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran referring to the arrest of Jaffna University students and later sending them for rehabilitation has said the Tamil community is very much concerned about the recent arrests in the Northern Province, particularly in Jaffna, where several youths were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
"The PTA was brought in 1978 for a period of only six months. Thereafter, it was extended for another two years. It is one of the most Draconian pieces of law this country is saddled with," he has explained.
He has observed that the government under international pressure had allowed the State of Emergency to lapse, but continue with the PTA, which is far more sinister than the Emergency Provisions.
Under the PTA, a person can be detained for 18 months without being produced before a Court of Law.
Sumanthiran has noted that the Jaffna youth have been arrested and they have not been produced before a judge.
"The authorities have found them guilty and prescribed a period of rehabilitation. We are being told that those persons have voluntarily accepted being subject to a period of rehabilitation. This is not acceptable in the least. We warn the government not to resort to this type of heavy-handed approach. This will not bring about the described consequences or reconciliation at all. This is a pre-planned play by the government to derail any possibility of reconciliation to increase tension to motivate the young people to think of other ways," he has said.
"I warn the government if you deal in such heavy handed manner there will be repercussions," Sumanthiran has added.