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Free Duminda: Mano defends decision to sign petition

28 Oct 2020 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Claims move linked to calls to  free tamil prisoners
  • Others in the TPA have also signed the petition
  • TPA will not join govt.

By Easwaran Rutnam   

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian and Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Mano Ganesan has defended a decision to sign a petition calling for a Presidential pardon for Duminda Silva.  Duminda Silva was, on September 8, 2016, sentenced to death for the murder of politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.   

A petition has been signed by several government Parliamentarians and is to be presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, seeking a pardon for Silva.   

Ganesan told Daily Mirror the petition is not sponsored by the government but is an independent document on which a number of other opposition members have also signed.   

“Others in the TPA have also signed the petition,” he said.   

He asserted that the only reason he signed the document was to use it as an opportunity to seek the 
release of what he said Tamil political prisoners.   

Ganesan said that if Silva is pardoned then there can be a stronger push to secure 
the release of Tamil political prisoners.   

Asked if the TPA plans to join the Government or support the budget, Ganesan insisted that there is no such move.   

“We are very much still part of the opposition and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya. We will not join the government,” he said.   

Ganesan said the TPA will continue to remain in the opposition while pushing for Tamil issues to be addressed.