The Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners has decided to lodge a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department over an incident where the former State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte had allegedly mistreated a group of prisoners held within the Anuradhapura Prison.
Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, Chairman of Committee Senaka Perera said they are hoping to file a fundamental rights petition over the incident in future.
Senaka Perera alleged the former State Minister of storming into the Anuradhapura Prison on the 12th of September by using his ministerial powers to intimidate eight inmates arrested and held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
He claimed that the group was forced to kneel and held one of the inmates at gunpoint demanding them to plead guilty to the charges.
Senaka Perera said the State Minister has no judicial powers nor can he treat prisoners inhumanely.
Therefore, the Chairman of the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners had decided to lodge a complaint with the CID demanding the arrest of the State Minister in question under the Firearms Ordinance.
Senaka Perera added that prisoners are also humans and they also have the same fundamental rights as fellow citizens. He said therefore they will file a petition before the Supreme Court over the incident in future.
According to prison sources the State Minister in question who was under the influence, entered the Colombo Prison Headquarters on the 6th of September with a group of friends while the same State Minister had entered the Anuradhapura Prison on the 12th in similar fashion.
It is reported that the State Minister with his firearm entered a prison cell holding former LTTE cadres and escorted several of them out of their cells.
Following the development, State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte yesterday announced he has resigned from his portfolio.
The President’s Media Division said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accepted the letter of resignation directed by State Minister Lohan Ratwatte.