21 September, 2009 - Published 17:53 GMT

PTA detainees 'not political prisoners'

Tamil detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), say that they should be treated as political prisoners.

266 detainees, arrested under PTA, handed over a petition following a hunger strike at Welikada Magazine Prison.

They said “government should take immediate legal action.”

“We should be produced before a court or released,” they added.

Deputy Minister of Justice V. Puthirasigamani told BBC Sandeshya “these people who were held under detention orders are suspects of various terrorist activities".

“Even though the prisoners claim they are political prisoners we cannot treat them as such”.

Daya and George

“George Master and Daya Master were released because they surrendered; they were released after they surrendered.”

LTTE media co-ordinator, Velayudam Dayanidhi widely known as Daya Master and translator, Kumar Pancharatnam known as George Master who surrendered to Sri Lanka military in April were released on bail this month.

Minister Puthirasigamani further stressed that the government will consider their appeal in the future.