The committee for protecting rights of prisoners staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Welikada Prison to stress the government on protecting the rights of the prisoners and to immediately enforce the law against those involved in the Welikada prison shooting in 2012.
They said that the government has failed to implement the law for five years since the shooting at the prison which killed 27 inmates.
Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Minister D.M. Swaminathan said action has already been taken to address prisoners’ issues.
Swaminathan said that he intends to seek a solution to all these problems in two months time.
“The issues pointed out by the committee cannot be solved in one night. This involves decisions and measures taken by former prison affairs ministers therefore measures have been already taken to address them”, he said.
Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake who was present at the demonstration emphasized that the government should immediately address the issues pointed out by the Committee for protecting rights of prisoners. He said that not all prisoners are treated equally under the law.
“The doctors in the prison hospital are corrupt. Only politicians and political supporters who get arrested are diagnosed with different types diseases and that does not happen to the other prisoners who get arrested for petty reasons. When the government is taking measures to send all the people involved in fraud and corruption under the former and present government to the prison, the doctors at the prison are saving them”, he said.
Deputy Minister Ramanayake said that the government also should bring the murderers involved in the Welikada shooting before courts and they should be punished.
Samson Alwis from Borella a demonstrators who’s son was killed in the shooting at the prison in 2012, requested the government to take immediate action against the people involved in the shooting.
“My son was falsely arrested and the police said that he was selling drugs which he never did. Today everyone knows who carried out the shooting. I request the government to punish the murderers as soon as possible and ensure justice”, he said.
Alwis further said that the government is trying to cover up the whole issue by giving compensation to the parents.