An adjournment debate was held in Parliament yesterday regarding difficulties faced by prison inmates and issues within the prison system.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahuman seconded the proposal tabled in this regard by MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar.
MP Bakeer Markar claimed the current prison system in Sri Lanka is not appropriate for a civilized world.
The MP said therefore the current situation must be resolved.
He noted the prison system is a shame to the country, and is not appropriate for the values and a democratic society.
He added those held within prisons for various reasons have the right to life, and must be treated humanely.
MP Bakeer Markar said they also have a right to fair trial and to be treated equally before the law.
The MP added however during recent times such rights have been challenged, which is illegal and in violation of international human rights standards.
He claimed society has a responsibility to create an environment for prison inmates to obtain basic needs with dignity.
Joining the debate Minister of Justice Ali Sabry said he accepts that progress must be made in the prison system.
The Justice Minister said the construction of a prison complex with modern facilities will commence in the near future, prioritizing rehabilitation.
Minister Sabry said the current state in prisons is the result of the actions of various administrations over the past 70 years.
He noted in Colombo alone four inmates are being held within a space sufficient for one, and two persons in the space for one outstation.
The Minister added therefore the construction of the prison complex will commence in the near future.