23 January, 2021

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Lohan Ratwatte Tipped To Be Appointed Prisons Minister As Activists Fear More Violence At Mahara Prison

Speculation is rife of further violence expected inside the Mahara Prison complex overnight Tuesday, as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made quiet moves to appoint Kandy District MP Lohan Ratwatte as prisons minister to quell the prisoners’ protests.

Ratwatte was the primary accused in the December 2001 Udathalawinna Massacre, before a High Court acquitted him and convicted five military personnel who were Ratwatte’s bodyguards of the gruesome murder of Muslims. Ratwatte was also implicated in inciting the 2018 Digana anti-Muslim riots although the investigation never went further due to the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Lohan Ratwatte

Unable to stop the ongoing inmate protests over the spread of corona virus inside the prison the Government was planning to send troops in on Tuesday night, highly placed sources told Colombo Telegraph.

Activists for prisoners’ rights are expressing deep concern about the threat of fresh violence inside Mahara on Tuesday or Wednesday night.

Thousands of prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 with the virus spreading like wildfire inside the crowded incarceration centres islandwide.

Former CID Director Shani Abeysekera who recently tested positive for the COVID-19 also contracted the virus at the Mahara Prison where he was being held in remand.

Violence At Mahara Prison

Violence At Mahara Prison

Colombo Telegraph learns that Ratwatte is to be appointed Minister of Prisons in order to oversee the “inquiry” into the shootings inside the Mahara prison that left 11 inmates dead and more than 100 hospitalised. Ragama hospital authorities said that already 38 inmates admitted for injuries had tested positive for the corona virus.

In Parliament on Tuesday (1), opposition MPs raised the issue of the Government’s duty to protect prisoners and those in state custody.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa responded to the calls by claiming an international conspiracy to incite the riot within prison walls, to bring the Government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa into disrepute. The Mahara Prison shootings were not a result of overcrowding and the rapid spread of corona virus, Weerawansa claimed, but an attempt to cause murder inside prison walls during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidency.

Weerawansa cited an “intelligence report” which claimed that a narcotic known as “reverse” had been smuggled into the prison and tested on inmates to induce a riot.

“When one uses this drug, it makes you want to see blood,” Minister Weerawansa claimed, adding that the distribution of the drug was aimed at encouraging cannibalism among the inmates.

As if on cue, police officers investigating the Mahara Prison shootings issued a media release saying 21,000 pills were missing from the prison dispensary.

The Mahara Prison shootings held echoes of the Welikada prison massacre of November 2012, when 27 inmates were shot in cold blood. Prisons Superintendents in charge at the time testified during the trial that the STF personnel who stormed the prison had walked in with something known as “Gota’s List” for taking out key inmates and witnesses incarcerated at Welikada.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    “When one uses this drug, it makes you want to see blood,” Minister Weerawansa claimed, adding that the distribution of the drug was aimed at encouraging cannibalism among the inmates.

    If UN Peacekeeping is refusing land now, Nato has to send its own force. We need to know, imediatly
    1). Why firing started for prisoners complaining about Covid-19. The name and title of the officer ordered troops to Shoot.
    2). Name, community and religion of the prisoners dead and injured, separately. Have the bodies identified by relatives & allow them to have it for their final rituals. All Muslims bodies must be handed over to relatives as no death here is Corona death.
    3). How many prisoners died by bullet wound and how many died by internal struggle.
    4). All the names and titles of the staff on attendance at the time of shooting.
    5). All the names of the officers who pulled the triggers on their guns. How many STF and troops were there.
    Opposition partied SJB, TNA, JVP all have to go on fasting inside the parliament until government release information on this. Until that Lemon Puff Veeraya’s mouth should be duct taped.

    • 9
      1

      These pictures go to the world. But we are branded as ” sinhala buddhists”. Rajapakshe supporters would not care much, but we would have to be very ashamed. …
      :
      Buddhism as it is taught by LORD BUDDHA, no whatsoever efforts to violences. But BUDDHAGAMA which is only a part of BUDDHISM based on JATHAKA stories, being practised in Srilanka would promote FACISM under CRIMINALS being elected to be the leaders of the country. Venisula is making in our home country with all interntional ranking systems throwing us to all low levels.

      • 6
        1

        They are the same. Salt tastes salt because it is salt.

        This is what happens if any country/army follows that philosophy. Look at Cambodia (genocide), Burma (genocide), Thailand (prostitution), Ghenghis Khan (massive plunder and sexual violence). SL is no exception. Cannibalism.

        What is the common denominator?

        It does not matter how peaceful the teachings are. The impact it has on a nation is very violent because it is such an impractical philosophy fascinated with death, depression, hopelessness and loss.

    • 2
      0

      Our parliament is truly democratic. We have madmen like Weerawansa there, including convicted murderers, miscellaneous convicts, drug runners, criminals of all sorts, uneducated idiots. No limits to who can sit there. Jayawewa!

  • 19
    1

    Retribution is taking place.after 2009 mulivaikal killing field for the last eleven years tamil mothers were begging the government and the police and army to find out about their loved one who surrendered to the forces.NOW YOU CAN SEE SINGALA BUDIST MOTHERS falling on the feet of police and army officers out side mahara prison to find out as to what happened to their family members.when tamils were killed these guys enjoyed kiribath on the street.now they can see what is happening to their own people.killing field is gradually moving from north-east to south.what a tragedy.

    • 0
      0

      There were and there are murderes,terrorists and extremists all three communities. They are all responsible for the sad situation in the country now.

  • 23
    3

    They have found the right man for the job. He and his father and brother, along with their bodyguards, were charged with murdering their political rivals in Kandy during the December 2001 parliamentary elections. In 2006, under MR’s presidency, they were acquitted while their five bodyguards – all elite soldiers – were found guilty and sentenced to life.

  • 19
    0

    Dear Friends,
    Last 4.5 years we heard nohting about prison killings, but whenever Rajaakshes return to power, how come prisoners get killed. This was also the case, during that 52 day fake govt. Remember ? That alone proves, who to be blamed, …. why to curse prisoners, while unncessarily adulating … high criminal politicians. This country is a hell… even if it is beautiful by its landscapes. 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

  • 19
    1

    If our esteemed President, who was regarded as the savior to those who voted for him, cannot handle this pandemic, and most importantly a killing spree inside a prison, how is he going to going to run this country? Is this a convenient method of getting rid of political prisoners?

    Why is a ruthless thug who was implicated in murdering Muslims given a top job? It goes with Gota’s ugly habit of appointing crooks, war criminals, and murderers, being giving top jobs, and felons being pardoned. Are there any honest patriots in his administration?

    • 0
      0

      Hope Gotabaya will read your comment,very distressing indeed.

  • 19
    3

    Sri Lanka is hell on earth today = a typical Buddhist nation like Cambodia or Burma.

    So the 2001 December 5 killer of 18 Muslims in Pallethalawinna will be in charge of more killings?

    • 0
      0

      These countries you mentioned are not real Buddhist. They are an insult to Buddhism.

  • 8
    1

    Set a prisoner to catch a prisoner.

  • 15
    0

    Appointing a Fox to Guard the hen house. Does this have to do with that certain former Mahinda body guard who robbed a bank to give him funds to fight an election I wonder. That was the reason for the worst prison massacre in history committed at the Welikada Prison also courtesy Gotler. It was also the reason for the attack on the prison bus making its way to Kaluthara which was also a blood bath with no survivors. On both occasions the man in question escaped. Anyway this time it could be to get rid of Shani if he is still there and does not die of COVID.

  • 9
    1

    It is clumsy handling of the affairs by the Government authorities at the Mahara Prison complex. There are some more sensational issues to crop in the near future.

  • 13
    0

    Just take a look at those pictures, it ain’t other person’s problem anymore, It is right at your door step. One way or another many will go through such violations (human rights/liberty) where people will be pushed to a hopeless/helpless/worthless state. It happened before when people protested demanding clean water/environment and in prisons too. Now is the repeat for which our public earnestly voted. Fully deserved. Picture should have accompanied with caption stating ” this is a lawful, disciplined and virtuous nation.

  • 10
    0

    There are many such ministers with portfolios mentioned else where. We had Pillayan, Karuna, Duminda, Sajin, Lohan —etc.

  • 11
    0

    This we hear in Mexico and Brazil. After seeing such pictures wonder who will invest in Lankawe ????? China yes, because they follow the same methods. Even Pakistan cannot boast such achievements.

    • 0
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      You are right, no one will have the confidence to invest in the island, incidences like this is sending the wrong message.

  • 8
    0

    Can things get worse? Of course, they can and definitely they will!

  • 8
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    Minister Wimal Weerawansa responded to the calls by claiming an international conspiracy………….
    So another fast unto death is called for to end with Thambili and Lemon Puff at UN office..

    Weerawansa cited an “intelligence report”…………………..
    This is straight after he chaired the National Security Council meeting.

    When one uses this drug, it makes you want to see blood.
    May be like the experience on seeing his wife’s paramour sometime ago.

    • 1
      0

      Ferryman: “May be like………….on seeing wife’s paramour sometime ago”. I don’t think no do I expect that paramour to see any “Blood”. Do you? That is not a “live” bullet but a “spent” one. P.S. Must enjoy some “Vulgar” to dispel hum drum of COVID 19 isolation.

  • 7
    0

    Interesting, Wimal claims “if consumed a person will like seeing blood thereby turns violent”.Prison officials claim thousands of “pills ?? are missing from their custody”. The question which comes to my mind 1) “if at all these are medicines used by prison officials “why would they turn someone violent as Dr. Wimal claimed.2) If they are not medicine but street drugs, “why would police keep such drugs in custody when they are not in the habit of using such drugs. This is a typical Lankan comedy which has kept the voting public amused.

  • 4
    0

    If 20,000 pills are missing from prison dispensary, then it has to be medicine and not street drugs. That kind of large quantity has to be a benign medicine like vitamin used in every patient. Why would prison keep that amount of medicine which is addictive or mind altering, Is our police involved in research we are not aware ????

    • 3
      0

      Chiv,
      ” That kind of large quantity has to be a benign medicine like vitamin used in every patient. “ Lankawe distributing Vitamins for prisoners’ health?
      I don’t think it might be that kind light side matter. You raised many questions. One needs to put all together and raise the question in parliament.
      1). 21,000 doses of psychiatric medicines medicine in one prison.
      2). Prisoners transferred to that prison unnecessarily.
      3). A senior SSP accused as evidence planter came out of that prison. .
      4). Corona spread is reported inside. No action, but more prisioners.
      5). Rotten rascal’s like Lemon Puff, Sudharsini, and Lohan’s appointment with in few days on this matter a new lead. Sudharsini in the dirtied Speaker’s chair, working with Johnstan and other thugs.

      The truth is yet to come out. But why would one think it is not this way: These are guys who brought container of drug and used PM’s signature to clear it. The Medicine should have been brought in there buying on government fund. Selected prisoners, including a SSP was moved in there. Timing went wrong; SSP got out. But still plan was implemented. Drugs removed. Documents burned. Unwanted are killed. Because of Corona, Bodies have to be burned. Unlike in the cases Isaipriya, Premawati, Wijeyaweera, when Sinhala Buddhists’ rituals were performed, like the burying – burning alive, this time they may do after DMO’s certification.

  • 11
    0

    .
    ‘…..Foreign conspiracy to bring down the govt….’ The old record seems to be stuck in the groove once again. If the Govt. is taking this Minister seriously, there should be an investigation into his allegations or kick him out because he is an embarrassment, just like Trump to the Republican party with his unfound allegations. Then we have a health minister who has more faith in occult & mumbo jumbo than science & I am not sure who authorised the expenditure for a monk to fly around the country in a helicopter, sprinkling holy water. Now we seem to be having a thug who should be in prison for murder, appointed as the Minister for Prisons. Certainly, SL is ‘not country like any other’.

    Didn’t GR promise to cull unnecessary expenditure & corruption, shrink the number of parliamentary Ministers & appoint intellectuals to his ‘viyathmaga’ advisory group? The British govt, is allocating billions in extra funding to the health & social services, rightly so because of over 55000 COVID related deaths & hardships faced by many over the lockdown but it seems GR believes the pandemic is under control & no hardship for the people, thanks to the military efficiency, therefore, it is the defence budget that needs boosting, followed by the highways, presumably, to mobilise the army in case the country is invaded by a foreign power, if Weerawansa is proved to be correct.

  • 6
    1

    “When one uses this drug, it makes you want to see blood,” Minister Weerawansa
    ================
    1.How does Minister Weerawansa know this? Has he taken this.
    2.Is this prescribed to the armed forces stationed in the NE as a routine daily dose?

    • 2
      0

      There are approved drugs, FDA, British or German governments won’t allow their pharmaceuticals manufacture any drug with that kind of side effect. If it can induce suicide temptation, the medicine put in controlled substance & the doctor gives that will be held accountable for any mistreatment.
      It is Lemon Puff’s laboratory manufactured Kerala Ganja only ask for blood. These are imported, medical condition treatment drugs (may for pain or depression,) but Aanduwa thugs want to sell them in black market.

  • 10
    2

    We have seen during Bandaranaike times how Lohan’s father Anuruddha Ratwatte killed people. We have also seen how Lohan attacked Muslim homes and businesses during the riot against Muslims. He is a crook who has to be inside the prison and not incharge of the prison. This appointment is similar to War Criminals getting diplomatic posts under Mahinda. Rajapakses love these crooks. We have seen most of the Ministers appointed by Gota are drug dealers, murderers and against whom cases are pending. So its a crookish Govt. GOTA FAIL!

  • 1
    5

    These things can easily happen when people of certain social background are housed together. Most of them seem to be drug addicts and have violent criminal records. Prisons are overcrowded and its employees are laid back as well. So, all it takes is some individual to cause a little spark and the rest follows mindlessly.

    Muslim political party members who were aroused by New york 9/11 attack, initiated the Udathalawinna incident.
    Again, Digana incident took place because muslim politicians prevented the arrest of the killers of innocent Sinhala family man.

    It seems GR administration has a rocky road ahead. International enemies through their local agents are trying to discredit the president. This has been happening since SWRD Bandaranayake incident. Stay alert!!!

  • 2
    0

    When it is asserted that an accused of yester-year of dastardly murders is unfit for being a Minister, then one throws a dart even at judges who acquitted him as well. Despite the incident at Udathalawinna, LER is elected an MP. The fact remains that quite a lot of politico sons who got elected became State Ministers, LNR being the exception in becoming a Cabinet Minister. It is clear that Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle being appointed as state Minister of Prisons, is like putting a square peg in a round hole, just as much as Pavithra Wanniarachchi is for health. LER getting appointed as the Minister of prisons, the subject stated getting vacant raises many questions. His appointment at this juncture, amidst prison riots and with a record of being an inmate for some time, even as a remandee, raises the eyebrows. That is on the surface. Did the local “Mossad” report any wrong of LER while he was the Minister of Roads? Don’t forget that apart from the Udathalawinna massacre the Ratwatte’s were “discovered” then in stashing money. If so, what about the possibility of corrupt officials in the prison system getting a breather under this guy?

  • 2
    0

    How lovely, this is the fellow who arranged Mr. Kumar Ponnambalam’s murder, he also murdered so many innocent civilians and today he may possibly become a prison minister? Hahaha………..this country is a total clown show run by murderers, thieves, rapists, child molesters, drug dealers, illegal arms dealers, etc. Gota you murderer at it again??????

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