SRI LANKA: Inquiry on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots
SRI LANKA: An Appeal for the Early Publication of the Inquiry Reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya Prison Riots
12th October 2013
Dear Mr. President,
This intervention is made in a spirit of democratic engagement by the Friday Forum, a group of concerned citizens who have come together to consider current issues of public interest with a view to making a contribution to peace, democracy, good governance and social justice in Sri Lanka.
When persons in the custody of a state institution meet with violent death it is a matter of great public concern, reinforcing and even going beyond the immediate issue of justice for victims and their families.
The Friday Forum urges you to make public the findings of the Committee appointed by the Hon. Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, to investigate the events that took place in the Welikada prison, Colombo, in November 2012 resulting, in the death of some 27 inmates, with 43 injured and 11 reported to have escaped. We note from media publications that this Committee report has now been formally handed over to the Minister, and that the Prison Authorities have developed action plans covering the implementation of specific recommendations made in the report. The public has a right to be informed of the Committee’s conclusions and actions to be taken by officials responsible for the administration of the prison system.
The Friday Forum urges you to make public the findings of the Committee appointed to investigate the events that took place in the Vavuniya prison, in June 2012 resulting in the death of 2 inmates out of the 30 inmates reported as injured.
We believe that the publication of these reports can contribute to creating public confidence in the Government’s frequently stated commitment to strengthening administration of criminal justice and help the government to address problems in the prison system.
Jayantha Dhanapala Professor. Savitri Goonesekere on behalf of the Friday Forum- the Group of Concerned Citizens
cc. Hon. Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms,
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