Sri Lanka’s Tamil prisoners call off strike

Colombo, March 12 (IANS) Sri Lankan Tamil prisoners, who launched a hunger strike demanding their release, called off their fast after a minister assured them of speedy trials.

As many as 13 former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres launched the hunger strike on February 23 demanding the government expedite the cases against them or release them.

The prisoners called off the strike on Friday after Prisons Reforms and Rehabilitation Minister D. M. Swaminathan gave an assurance that he would discuss the issue with the attorney general’s department officials, ColomboPage reported.

Four inmates who fell ill due to the hunger strike were admitted to the prison hospital.

Meanwhile, students at the University of Jaffna on Friday launched a one day hunger strike to protest the imprisonment of Tamils.

Earlier, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan had raised the issue in the house moving an adjournment.

Sampanthan had also made an appeal to the political prisoners on fast to give it up.

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