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Sirisena - no political prisoners in Sri Lanka, NGOs behind protests

In a frank interview with BBC Sinhala, the Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena dismissed concerns over ongoing detentions of political prisoners, stressing "there are no political prisoners in Sri Lanka". 

"Also, there are no secret prisoners in Sri Lanka under my government," Mr Sirisena said.

Commenting on ongoing protests across the North-East calling for action on disappearances and the release of political prisoners, Mr Sirisena claimed that they were instigated by NGOs, accusing them of "misleading" people. 

He went on to claim that recent protests in London, opposing his visit to the UK were run by "LTTE cadres". 

Asked about the state's onging occupation of land, Mr Sirisena said that 80% of public land which was occupied by the army had now been released.