An irate UNPer said that Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev Rayappu Joseph was refused permission last Friday (July 27) to meet 17 LTTE suspects transferred from the Vavuniya prison to Mahara recently following the STF quelling a riot there.
MP said that he would raise the disgraceful conduct of the government both in and outside parliament. The Vice President of the UNP SAID that as the Bishop of Mannar wanted to pay a visit to those detained at Mahara, he accompanied the clergyman.
"Although I was allowed to go in and speak with the suspects, the Bishop was asked to wait at the office of the senior official in charge of the prison.
Officials insisted the Bishop cannot be allowed to meet inmates. They claimed to have received instructions from higher authorities not to give access to the Mannar Bishop." Dr. Jayawardena said that he wrote to Prisons Department Chief as well as Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and Minister of Prisons Reform Chandrasiri Gajadeera highlighting the Mannar Bishop’s plight. Post-war talk of a national reconciliation process was a joke when the government went to the extent of harassing the Bishop of Mannar. The UNP MP stressed that the government should release those held without charges and move court against men and women against whom charges could be framed.