HRCSL questions prisoners allegedly used in 9 May attacks 

  • inmates summoned, eight arrive, two on h10 ouse leave 
  • Prisons Dept. also files complaint claiming mob assault on prisoners

BY Pamodi Waravita 

An inquiry was held at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) yesterday (25) regarding the inmates who were allegedly transported to be a part of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)-led group that assaulted the protestors at “MynaGoGama” in Kollupitiya and “GotaGoGama” at Galle Face Green on 9 May. 

Ten inmates had been summoned to the HRCSL yesterday, but only eight inmates had arrived at the HRCSL for the inquiry, whilst two had been absent due to being on house leave.  

Earlier this month, the HRCSL visited some of the inmates who are alleged to have been transported from the Watareka Open Prison Rehabilitation Camp for this purpose. 

Prisons Department Spokesman and Prisons Commissioner Chandana Ekanayake told The Morning yesterday that the Prisons Department had also filed a complaint with the HRCSL, as prisoners had been assaulted on 9 May by a mob. 

The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners has alleged that hundreds of prisoners were clearly among the SLPP supporters who initially assembled at the Temple Trees on 9 May, before attacking “MynaGoGama” and “GotaGoGama”. Video footage on social media shows two such inmates being questioned by protestors at these protest sites. 

“They take us from the Watareka Camp to places where we work. We were brought by Jailor Ramanayake,” said one of the inmates on video. 

However, the department has denied these allegations, stating that buses transporting a group of prisoners for work purposes were attacked by a mob on 9 May evening, with a total of 58 inmates reported missing following the incident, while 123 were held securely. Ekanayake told The Morning earlier that out of the 58 inmates who were reported missing, 32 had “made their way back to Watareka”. However, 10 of the inmates are still reported missing and Police stations have been informed about them on the suspicion that they have escaped.