The citizens’ group Friday Forum has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure the early publication of inquiry reports on the Welikada and Vavuniya prison riots.
In an open letter to President Rajapaksa, the Friday Forum said that 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.
“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,” the letter signed by Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala and Prof. Savitri Goonesekere said.
The Friday Forum said the intervention to the President was being 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.
“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. 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 group said in its letter.