Welikada prisoners protest influenced by external forces  – Spokesperson

Welikada prisoners protest influenced by external forces – Spokesperson

Welikada prisoners protest influenced by external forces – Spokesperson

Written by Amani Nilar

28 Oct, 2021 | 4:01 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Prisons Department said that the recent protest atop a building at the Chapel Ward of the Welikada Prison was an externally influenced act.

This was uncovered by Prison Intelligence Personnel working on the recent protests, said the Prisons Spokesperson & Commissioner Chandana Ekanayake.

On the 20th of October 2021, a group 13 prisoners started protesting atop a building at the Chapel Ward of the Welikada Prison demanding a general pardon.

The Prison Spokesperson stated that the 13 prisoners protested continuously for the next two days, while another 56 poisoners joined the protest on 23rd October.

Later, at the request of the Commissioner-General and the Commissioners, the protesting prisoners from time to time descended from the roof.

However, several prisoners have refused to get down from the roof of the prison despite the Minister in Charge of the subject, Ali Sabry assuring them that a committee was appointed to discuss with the protesters and work out a method of granting amnesty in the future.

Subsequently, some prisoners decided to let go of the protest after members of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and requested them to leave the protest, said the Prisons Spokesperson.

On Wednesday (27), only eight prisoners were left protesting and the Prison Strategic Force had found out that one of the prisoners had fallen ill.

The Prisons Spokesperson said that since it is the responsibility of the prison administration to refer a prisoner for treatment in accordance with prison rules in the event of an inmate’s illness, and due to the need to provide medical treatment to the inmate on humanitarian grounds, the Prison Tactical Force had managed to remove the eight prisoners from the roof of the prison building, in a strategic manner.

Prisons Spokesperson Ekanayake added that the Department of Prisons will consider granting amnesty to the prisoners, and as per the instructions of the Minister of Justice, a committee has been appointed at the institutional level and at the headquarters to explore the demands and provide reports to the Justice Minister.

He mentioned that prisoners involved in rape and drug trafficking cases also joined the protest, and intelligence was received making it clear that the prisoners involved in this protest were being manipulated by outsiders.

Additionally, the spokesperson said that protesters are being investigated and a complaint with the Borella Police has been lodged regarding damage incurred to Government property and harassment of other prisoners.

The prisoners responsible for causing damage and facing other charges related to the protest will also be transferred to other prisons, the Spokesperson stated.

Meanwhile, the Prisons Engineering Department has estimated that the protest has caused a damage worth Rs. 10 million to the Chapel Ward of the Welikada Prison

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