AKD raises concerns over absence of Minister

Who will respond to questions on Mahara Prison Riot?, asks AKD

by Zulfick Farzan 01-12-2020 | 3:42 PM

Colombo (News 1st); Opposition Lawmaker Anura Kumara Dissanayake highlighted the fact there is no responsible minister to respond to questions raised on the Mahara Prison Riot, in Parliament on Tuesday (01)

Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle was the State Minister of Prison Reforms & Prisoners' Rehabilitation last morning, and by evening she was appointed as the State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention, which is a new portfolio, said Dissanayake.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena representing the government said the response to the MPs question would be made in due course adding there is no need to panic simply because portfolios were changed.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake said based on government data 11,792 prisoners should be in prisons, however, at present, there are 28,750 prisoners and 20,000 are remand prisoners.

He claimed that cases not being taken up for almost 11 months had compelled remand prisoners to serve time behind bars, more than the period that would be imposed by a court of law for the offense they committed.

Dissanayake further said parliament is debating a budget without making allocations for three new ministries.

He said allocations were made for the institutions which are under those ministries, however, no allocations were made for the respective ministries.

He called on the government to introduce an amended budget during the committee stage debate.