COLOMBO: Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran may have broken protocol when he officially wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to consider releasing four Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1994 Premananda rape and murder case, Lankan officials told Express.
A Foreign Ministry official said that as per protocol, the Chief Minister should send his letter to the Foreign Ministry first. The Foreign Ministry will, in turn, send it to the destination through the Foreign Ministry of the country concerned.
However, in the case of the Northern Province Chief Minister this diplomatic route is not insisted upon these days because of the close relations existing between Lanka and India, he added. The protocol is not uniformly applied.
“And, at any rate, the Northern Chief Minister has written to Modi in the past, without any objections from Colombo,” the official pointed out.
In his official letter dated March 14, 2015, Wigneswaran told Modi that he was forwarding documents sent by one K.Sivathy, daughter of R. Kamalananda, convict No: 4220.
“Since the girl’s father and mother hail from our (Northern) province, I take the liberty of forwarding the said documents for your kind consideration. Mr.Ram Jethmalani who is known to me, is fully aware of the false case filed,” Wigneswaran said.
The documents, addressed to Modi, were signed by immediate family members of the convicts R. Kamalananda; S. Balendra; S. Sathishkumar; and S. Nandakumar.
They convicts’ relations claimed that a “travesty of justice” had taken place. And with the Indian Supreme Court confirming the sentence, release had become “impossible”.
Pleading for Modi’s good offices to get them released, they said: “ Our dear ones have been in prison for more than 20 years now. The best years of their lives are gone and our lives have also been affected very much. It might be noted Sir, that they are not convicted for any positive act of crime but for abetment only.”