Prison Hospital Can some get VIP status?

18 May 2015 07:33 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A





Prisoners too are human beings, is a very popular slogan that many passengers read passing the Welikada Prison in Colombo.

Many are sentenced to prison because of a deliberate attempt to do a crime or any other corrupt activity that would claim a life or property.

 Since a society cannot expect criminals to be among other citizens they are being imprisoned for the safety of either party. Criminals are imprisoned in order to rehabilitate and reintegrate them to society.

With the fall of an ‘eternal’ regime, many corrupt politicians have started queuing to go behind bars virtually.

Why is this luxury treatment given only for these Very Important Persons (VIPs) when they should be given solitary confinement? Taking this issue as a serious violation of human rights the Daily Mirror consulted experts regarding the procedures to admit a prisoner in to the hospital and the way they are being treated.


Bribery in the prison?

Speaking under strict condition of anonymity a source reported to the Daily Mirror of certain unethical procedures that take place within the prison premises and the hospital precisely.

“A prison is a place that enforces punishment when people are accused of crimes. The prison is being developed from public funds and therefore it should maintain strict law and order. I have come across people who have been imprisoned for robbing 5 coconuts when politicians commit terrible crimes and nobody can even think about filing a case against them. Some common scenarios include stealing medicine, filling pockets with donations and the like. There was another incident when Rs.1 million was spent to develop an X-ray room and they brought in a second-hand worn down X-ray machine. On the other hand the ambulance has become a vehicle of personal use. The prison has become the Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV production house. Therefore if a prisoner comes back again, he says that he has TB and is then sent to the respective ward. Here he is given high protein diets and in the case of a medical check-up he bribes a patient who actually has TB, gets some phlegm from him and then gets a report. There are certain rules and regulations that prison officials have to abide by and moreover every prisoner should be treated equally. It is not at all ethical to hospitalize a prisoner without a medical condition.”

“I will tell you the incident of this 61-year-old prisoner. He was suffering from advanced prostate cancer and required further surgery. He was shackled and because of this the doctor refused to conduct the surgery. Thereafter the doctor made a request to the commissioner to unshackle the prisoner and in his letter he mentioned that Sri Lanka was a signatory to the United Nations Human Rights Convention and in the clause for Prisoners in hospital it was clearly mentioned that a prisoner cannot be shackled. He mentioned that there was no written Sri Lankan law which stated that prisoners should be shackled inside hospital. If this is exposed to the international community the Sri Lankan reputation will go down the drains. This is just one of many incidents that take place regularly. Another serious issue is the lack of nursing officers in the male and female wards. As a result female nurses have to work in male wards and vice versa. VIPs get food from outside and they are not given the jump suite, aluminium plate, cup and canvass.

 
The prison hospital is just like a normal hospital:
Rohana Pushpakumara



Commissioner of Prisons Rohana Pushpakumara said that the prison hospital was just like a normal hospital ward but it didn’t have  facilities that were found in a general hospital.

“When a politician is admitted they also stay with the other prisoners. Sometimes due to safety we sometimes get them to stay at a corner of the ward. We can send them to the National Hospital if our doctors recommend.

“When in the National Hospital and if the prisoner wants to get admitted to the merchant ward there are certain articles in the prison act which favours their decision and request. But he should make this request to the Director of the National Hospital. Then we are questioned as to who will pay on behalf of these prisoners in the merchant ward. So the prisoner’s relatives should pay for them. Even a normal prisoner can be admitted in this way”.
 


 
Some politicians on remand haven’t even entered the prison premises:
Udul Premaratne



Former Convener of the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne said that when a patient was admitted he should go to his respective prison because they were divided among the respective Police offices and courts.

“For example if a prisoner is sent to the Colombo Remand Prison (CRP) firstly he should go in and get his number, get registered and a jailer should put him in prison. Then if he has some illness he should inform the authorities and then the prison officers should inform the doctors on duty and get him checked. Then it is the doctor’s duty to send him to general hospital if he is in a life-threatening condition.

“But it is highly unlikely that somebody encounters such a situation except if he meets with an accident. Also if he has a life-threatening condition then the Magistrate will never imprison him and the Magistrate can directly order the prisoner to get admitted to hospital.

“On the other hand if the illness is not life-threatening then the judge would give an order to admit him to the prison hospital. But if we take Basil Rajapaksa, he has not even entered the CRP but as soon as he came he was taken to the prison hospital.

“This is illegal because without a doctor’s order there is a problem as to how a jailer took him in. The regulation says that without a doctor’s or a Magistrate’s order no prisoner can be taken in like that.

When in the prison hospital a Judcial Medical Officer’s (JMO) report is called for, but for this sometimes doctors are changed.  “Ravi Wettasinghe is a person who was in the prison hospital until he was given bail. During the New Year he was sent to the general hospital. He has even given a donation to buy paint and whitewash the prison hospital premises. So, this is bribing in broad daylight. Nobody can be in the prison hospital like that.

“Musheen is another person who was sentenced to prison. He is being given insulin among many others and is in the prison hospital. Saliya Wickramasuriya has not even seen the prison premises. At the moment he is also in the prison hospital. These people directly get admitted to the prison hospital when normal people find it very difficult to even buy a small tablet.”


 
Only a doctor can decide if a prisoner can be sent to hospital:
Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe


Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that when a person was remanded that party could make an application to the Magistrate to permit him to be in hospital on medical grounds.

“If the Magistrate is satisfied with the medical reports produced before him then he can give a direction to keep him in the hospital,” he said.  “The other option is when a person is remanded and if he complains about any illness then the doctor in the prison hospital can decide, whether he should be sent to the hospital. Similarly if somebody makes an application to the Magistrate that the prison hospital doesn’t have facilities that fit a person of that nature, then the Magistrate can give directions for that person to be sent to the General Hospital.  

“The other procedure is that if the Chief Medical Officer of the prison hospital says that they don’t have enough facilities for a person of that nature, then he can decide whether that prisoner can be sent to General Hospital. Those are the two options. These depend on the opinions of the medical experts because only they are authorised to decide on these prisoners.”
 



Also their relatives and officials pay unauthorised visits daily, when the rule says that remand prisoners can be met only for 10 minutes once a day. We see their friends and relatives come in at different times of the day and are seen having long conversations. These are few examples of the terrible biasedness of treatments that people and VIPs get.”
See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  Comments - 2

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 
  • Nimal Monday, 18 May 2015 03:48 PM

    This our Darmarayaya,Jayaweawa!

    omg Monday, 18 May 2015 04:42 PM

    Only in Sri Lanka...


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




“I don’t think Sri Lankans can be realistically ruled by force” -Ahimsa Wickrematunge

Twelve years after the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the founding

Decisions to be made in Sri Lanka’s hunt for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Around the world, governments are gearing up to roll out nationwide immunizat

“I am the Godfather of Russian tourists” - Udayanga Weeratunga

Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga is back in the sce

Sri Lankan migrant workers still in limbo

Sri Lanka’s migrant workers are a significant part of our economy, with the

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.