Watareka inmates in unrests?

Watareka inmates in unrests?

Watareka inmates in unrests?

Written by Amani Nilar

10 May, 2022 | 9:01 pm

COLOMBO (News 1t); Speculations have been mounting with regard to whether prisoners from Watareka have been used to attack the peaceful protests and demonstrations held yesterday (09). 

Footage shared on social media showed angry protesters reprimanding a group of inmates for their involvement in yesterday’s unrest.

The prisoners stated that they were undergoing a two-year rehabilitation program, when they were taken from the Watareka prison to their workplaces, by a jailer named Ramanayake.

Prisons Commissioner General Thushara Upuldeniya denied reports that prisoners were used to attack protesters, and he stated that the prisoners were attacked in Malabe when returning from the construction sites at which they were working.

He said the prisoners were caught in the midst of the unrest when they had got down after the bus had been attacked. The prisons commissioner said that one inmate had been injured while 58 have gone missing.

However, yesterday’s footage raises many questions.

Isn’t there a similarity between the trousers worn by the prisoners from Watareka and the mob that attacked anti-government protesters?

If this is the case, are these the prisoners from Watareka?

The President of the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera stated that if people who should be rehabilitated are utilized to commit something wrong, things are evidently heading in the wrong direction.

“Many who came out have gone missing. There is question whether they are to be used for another attack,” he said.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, Sudesh Nandimal de Silva stated that there is a possibility of the inmates being tortured back at prison if they did not act violently outside, according to orders.

“They were taken from the Watareka prison and divided into groups like slaves. They took 181 prisoners to Temple Trees and sent them to create unrest. We saw the protesters beating them up later,” he added.

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