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Prison riot: Move to compensate victim families condemned

The Committee for protecting rights of prisoners vehemently condemned the Government’s alleged attempt to hold back the 2012 November 9 brutal killing of prisoners during the prison riot, by compensating the victims and their families.

The President of the organisation Attorney Senaka Perera in a statement said that the STF and some members of the armed forces invaded the prison premises on the instruction of a former VIP and killed 27 selected unarmed prisoners.

The statement says that the intruders by placing weapons near the dead bodies had attempted to cover it up saying they were killed since the prisoners carried weapons.

The statement further said that even though the present Yahapalana government assured the public to punish the killers of the prison riot it has not been done so far.

However as a result of continual protests of the committee the government appointed a three member Commission to inquire the incident During the inquiry eye witnesses had given evidence before the commission and the commission had tendered their observations and recommendation to the government one year ago.

In the meantime the government during a cabinet meeting had decided to compensate only 16 victims of the incident. The Committee vehemently condemned the government’s efforts to hold back the incident which had become a national and international concern by merely compensating the victims without punish the perpetrates, the statement said.

The statement also underscored the fact that if the government really wanted to do fair dealings to the victims’ relatives, to arrest the killers and bring them to book.

The committee says that while 27 prisoners were killed and the government‘s suggestion compensating only 16 of them was a joke.

The statement asked whether the other 11 prisoners committed suicide inside the prisons. The Committee requests the government to take steps according to the law and punish the killers without attempting to persuade the Geneva Human Rights Commission and other groupings.

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