Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
02 Dec, 2020 | 8:07 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte made an emergency observation visit to the Mahara Prison Complex on Wednesday (Dec. 02), after assuming duties as the new State Minister, the State Ministry of Prison Reforms and Prisoners Rehabilitation said.
Following the visit, the new State Minister had instructed officials to renovate and restore the property and buildings that were destroyed during the recent prison riot on Sunday (Nov. 29), the State Ministry said in a press release issued on Wednesday (Dec. 02).
He further, stressed on the need to prevent the recurrence of such events.
State Minister of Prison Reforms, Lohan Ratwatte had also met with the inmates and inquired about the problems faced by them.
According to the press release, the State Minister had informed the inmates that President Gotatbaya Rajapaksa agreed to re-activate the Four-Years Review, which has not taken place since 1998.
Furthermore, instructions were also issued to conduct Rapid Antigen Tests at the Mahara Prison complex and other prisons expeditiously to ensure the well-being of the inmates given the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The State Minister who acknowledged the hindrance to connections between inmates and their family/ relatives given the prevailing security concerns due to COVID-19 stated that a special hotline will be introduced for family members to inform the Department of Prisons regarding the problems faced by them, the State Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation further noted.
Moreover, measures are underway through the mediation and supervision of the State Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation, to release all inmates who are imprisoned for minor offenses and unable to pay fines, in order to reduce congestion at prisons, the statement read.
The new State Minister of Prisons Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation also stated that this could help resolve the sanitary issues at prison complexes.
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