- PM to appoint a committee to take disciplinary action against Lohan
- PM informs President this is not a political matter but a matter of discipline
- A female figure was present with Ratwatte in Prison
- Although PM wanted resignation from all portfolios, Lohan still continues in the Gem and Jewellery authority
- He had allegedly threatened them on the spot by pointing his personal firearm
- He had first broken into the Welikada Prison with his friends with an excuse of visiting the gallows
By JAMILA HUSAIN
State Minister of Prisons Management and Prisoners' Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte who has been caught in a controversy over allegedly threatening Tamil prisoners at the Anuradhapura Prison on Sunday, yesterday tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa following instructions by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Following rising calls by the public for an immediate investigation and action into the incident, Prime Minister Rajapaksa who is in Italy telephoned Ratwatte late on Tuesday night and instructed him to resign from all his portfolios immediately before the SLPP party sacks him from his position.
Ratwatte had immediately responded in a positive manner and had informed the Prime Minister that he would send in a resignation letter to the President.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa had then telephoned President Gotabaya and told him to accept Ratwatte's resignation stating this was not a political issue but a matter of discipline.
The Daily Mirror learns that Prime Minister Rajapaksa, as the leader of the SLPP will upon his return to the country, appoint a committee to investigate the allegations against Ratwatte, and if found guilty, the party will take disciplinary action against him. However although Prime Minister Rajapaksa had informed Ratwatta to resign from both his portfolios, that of Prison's Management and as the State Minister of Gem's and Jewelry Related Industries, government sources yesterday confirmed that Ratwatte would continue as the State Minister of Gem and Jewelry Related Industries and had tendered his resignation only as the State Minister of Prison's Management and Prisoner's Rehabilitation. Even in his resignation letter, Ratwatte had mentioned his resignation only from this ministry and added that he acknowledged his responsibility for the incidents that took place at the Welikada and Anuradhapura Prison premises.
President Gotabaya accepted his resignation immediately.
Ratwatta is alleged to have first broken into the Welikada Prison last week with his friends who were all intoxicated, with an excuse of visiting the gallows. It is alleged that most of his friends were dressed in shorts and they had threatened the prison guards to let them through. The Daily Mirror learns that a female figure was also present with Ratwatte at the time. Authorities are yet to disclose her identity but the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners yesterday alleged that it was a model/Beauty queen who was present with Ratwatta at the time. They said the CCTV footage would reveal more details in the future. Then on Sunday, Ratwatte is alleged to have gone to the Anuradhapura Prison and had made two Tamil Prisoners kneel down before him. The Tamil National People's Front MP Gajen Ponnambalam alleged that Ratwatte had pointed his personal firearm at them and had threatened to kill them on the spot.
Since then there have been rising calls from the opposition political parties and civil society to arrest Ratwatta and launch an immediate probe. However, surprisingly prison officials including the prison spokesperson have maintained a deafening silence over the incident while Ratwatte has gone silent and is yet to answer the queries from the media.
- Ratwatte is alleged to have gone to the Anuradhapura Prison and had made two Tamil Prisoners kneel down before him
Pushpika denies it was she who was present with Ratwatte
Mrs. Sri Lanka World 2021, Pushpika De Silva yesterday denied allegations that it was she who was present with Ratwatte at the Welikada Prison premises.
"My name is being dragged into this unwantedly. I do not know anything about this incident as I was not present. I have no connection with the State Minister and do not even know him," Pushpika told Daily Mirror.
Namal to visit Anuradhapura Prison today
- The Minister is expected to visit the prison today to discuss the concerns of the prisoners
By JAMILA HUSAIN
Eleven Tamil prisoners who are held at the Anuradhapura Prison have sought a meeting with Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa to discuss some immediate concerns, the Daily Mirror learns.
The prisoners have sent a letter to the Minister seeking an urgent meeting.
As a result,the Minister is expected to visit the prison today to discuss the concerns of the prisoners.