The focus of the 2014 Christmas was the “PTA detainees” in remand Prison. A special Christmas programme was held on the 19th December 2014 at the Bogambara - Dumbara prison from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. with Carols, dances and giving away gifts by the Santa Claus to all the prisoners. HRO focused its Christmas message on the prisoners who are in detention for long years without trials.
The Christmas day mass at the Dumbara prison was celebrated by Bishop Vianney Fernando. After mass the Bishop had a cordial meeting with the Superintendent of the Prison Mr. Senarath Bandara Senanayake at his office. The HRO also organized the political prisoners - PTA detainees ,to meet with the Bishop and the prisoners thanked the Bishop for his interventions through the HRO to bring them to trial. They requested the Bishop to appeal to the Holy Father during his visit to Sri Lanka to request the President to grant a general amnesty. The Bishop offered hope to the young political prisoners and the SP explained the issue with over crowdedness in the prison caused by the undue delay in trials.
The Human Rights office in Kandy provides legal, medical and psychological assistance to these detainees since 2008 and assist their families. With the intervention of the HRO lawyers, several political prisoners were released during the last few years, however there are several of them still to be tried in court. They Hope with the visit of the Holy father and the new political climate that they would see the light of the day beyond the prison walls.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
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