Sri Lankan prisons minister resigns after threatening to kill Tamil prisoners
- Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan prisons minister Lohan Ratwatte resigned on Wednesday after an uproar over his alleged remarks to kill Tamil prisoners during his recent visit to a jail in the island nation’s north central region.
Ratwatte went to the Anuradhapura prison in the country’s northern central region on September 12 and allegedly forced two prisoners to kneel and threatened to kill them, according to reports.
His act prompted the Tamil parties to condemn his behaviour and call for his resignation.
“We call on the government to immediately remove the state minister for prison management and have him arrested and charged after an immediate inquiry for allegedly threatening to kill prisoners in Anuradhapura on Sunday, September 12,” the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) tweeted.
Galen Ponnambalam, the leader of the Tamil National People’s Front, also tweeted and confirmed the incident.
''The TNPF can confirm that on the evening of September, 12 the state minister for prisons had gone to the Anuradhapura prisons, summoned the Tamil political prisoners and had got two of them to kneel in front of him,” he said in a tweet.
Ponnambalam said the minister had threatened to kill Tamil prisoners.
The local media reports alleged that the minister had visited the main prison in Colombo to show the gallows to a group of his friends late at night before heading to the north central town of Anuradhapura.
He was carrying his personal weapon into the prison which the prison officials said was an illegal act.
The minister’s office has denied any such incident involving him.
The incident and act of the minister has also been condemned by the United Nations.
''In our work on prison reform and drug rehabilitation, UN Sri Lanka works to strengthen capacities to uphold the rights of all those in custody and condemns any ill treatment of prisoners,'' Hanaa Singer-Hamdy tweeted on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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- Colombo Gazette
- Lohan Ratwatte
- Minister of State for Prisons Management
- Gotabaya Rajapaksa
- The UN Resident Coordinator
- Sri Lankan
- Galen Ponnambalam
- north central region
- Tamil National People’s Front
- Hanaa Singer-Hamdy
- Kingsley Ratnayake
- Tamil National Alliance
- Sri Lanka