- 189 inmates infected with COVID
By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne yesterday said the situation at the Mahara Prison, which was in a state of unrest recently, was completely peaceful.
He was responding to a question raised by Minister Chamal Rajapaksa at the Consultative Committee on Defence in Parliament last afternoon.
“Of the 2,500 inmates currently in Mahara Prison, 189 have been identified as being infected with COVID-19 and arrangements have been made to provide them with the necessary facilities. Meanwhile nearly 100 detainees who were granted bail have also been sent home following the PCR tests being done”, said Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne.
The Defence Secretary further said that there were 21,000 pills of three types used for mental disorders in the drug store of the Mahara Prison. Furthermore the secretary stated and they are looking into whether the use of drugs used for mental disorders instead of the drugs they were addicted to, could have caused this unrest.
All other issues including the security of the inmates and prison guards at the Mahara Prison will be fully resolved by today, the Defence Secretary said in response to a question raised by Parliamentarian Sahan Pradeep at the meeting.
The Members of Parliament who visited the Consultative Committee on National Security drew the attention of the Chairman to the problem of narcotics in their respective areas and it was suggested that a programme be implemented to rehabilitate drug addicts in this regard.
The Defence Secretary said that strong measures have been taken to eradicate narcotics island wide resulting in the price of narcotics in the market being high these days and its composition coming down to a very low level.
Meanwhile, in addition to the Kandakadu Centre for the Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts as a long term drug prevention programme with the assistance of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board, Residential Rehabilitation Centres will be set up soon in Pallansena, Weerawila, Embilipitiya and Nittambuwa said the Defence Secretary.