Sri Lankan prison minister resigns after alleged inmate threats | Sri Lanka News

Sri Lankan prison minister resigns after alleged inmate threats | Sri Lanka News

Lohan Ratwatte was accused of getting into a prison north of Colombo and making an attempt to power confessions from Tamil inmates at gunpoint.

The authorities minister in control of Sri Lanka’s prisons has submitted his resignation following public outcry after he allegedly threatened to kill two ethnic minority prisoners.

Lohan Ratwatte tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday and acknowledged his duty for each incidents, the president’s workplace mentioned in a press release. Rajapaksa accepted his resignation, it added.

Ratwatte, state minister of prison administration and prisoners’ rehabilitation, was accused of getting into a prison in Anuradhapura, north of the capital, Colombo, on Sunday and threatening to kill two Tamil prisoners.

Tamil minority lawmaker Gajen Ponnambalam mentioned Ratwatte summoned Tamil prisoners after going to the prison in Anuradhapura. He “got two of them to kneel in front of him and pointed his personal firearm at them and threatened to kill them on the spot,” Ponnambalam tweeted.

Ratwatte’s resignation letter didn’t verify or deny the allegations, however he mentioned, “I resign as I do not want to cause embarrassment to the government in view of the media reports.”

Tamil legislators requested the federal government to sack Ratwatte, who’s a member of the Sinhalese ethnic majority, and arrest him. Tamil political events mentioned the minister needed the inmates to admit to hyperlinks with Tamil Tiger rebels, who fought a protracted separatist battle that led to May 2009 with a fierce army onslaught.

Separately, native newspapers reported {that a} authorities minister forcibly entered the Welikada prison in Colombo to permit a gaggle of associates to go to the gallows.

The newspapers didn’t establish the minister, however the president’s workplace mentioned Ratwatte acknowledged duty for the incidents at each prisons, The Associated Press information company reported.

The controversy comes because the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva urged Sri Lanka to both prosecute or launch 78 Tamils incarcerated for many years with out being charged.

Ponnambalam, the opposition legislator, mentioned: “That a minister can behave in this manner when the UNHRC’s gaze is on Sri Lanka only shows how unperturbed the state is with regards to the UNHRC.”

Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director Yamini Mishra known as for an inquiry on the incident, saying “there must be a prompt, impartial and effective inquiry and the Minister must be held to account for his actions.”

Sri Lankan prisons are extremely congested, with greater than 32,000 inmates crowded into services with a capability of 11,000.

A dozen inmates had been killed and 100 others injured final November throughout a riot by inmates at a prison on the outskirts of Colombo.

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