- Says investigations are already on against corrupt prison officials
- Urged not to get involved with underworld criminals in prisons
- Reveals SIS has analysed thousands of telephone calls originated from prison’s
- Request to treat all prisoners equally
Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne on Thursday cautioned the prison’s officials to refrain from getting involved in corruption and also supporting the convicted underworld criminals in the prison’s as the law enforcement authorities had already commenced investigations on such officers.
“We have already commenced investigations on such prison officials who have links to corruption and to the underworld criminals. If we continued to investigate on such officials, the blame shouldn’t come to us,” he said adding that he is not threatening to the officials but made a request to do their duties in a respectable way.
Maj.Gen. Gunaratne reminded that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, other government officials and the public were looking forward to seeing a corruption free and respectable service from the prison’s officials.
Addressing top officials of the Prison’s Department in Colombo, the Defence Secretary urged the prison’s officials to render their services according to their conscience to make a corruption free prison system without getting caught to the underworld criminals. “Never let yourself repent on the deathbed over feeding and educating your children with money given by organised criminals like Wele Suda or Kanjipani Imran. You will regret this in your retirement, “ he said. He said although the department is functioning under the Justice Ministry, he has a right to get involved in issues related to the department, as over 27,000 prisoners in prisons island-wide were apprehended by the officers who were attached to the Defence Ministry.
“Police officers, including the STF are taking risks despite their threats to lives, to nab criminals in the country and to maintain the law and order,” he said explaining the huge responsibility lies with the prison’s officials in creating a lawful environment for the future generations to live free of crimes.
“It is the public opinion that there are lots of good officers and lots of corrupted officers among you. When the President was elected, he told me that the condition of the Prisons were deplorable, and the underworld activities and organised drug smuggling operated from within the prison.” he said adding that the State Intelligence Service (SIS) has analysed thousands of telephone calls originated from prisons.
The Defence Secretary asked the prison’s officials to continue to work by rectifying the mistakes they had done in the past to strengthen the prison system to make it more viable to correct the wrong doors without getting involved in corruption.
“Today the entire prison system is being criticized everywhere in the country. If a remanded drug user comes out of the prison after a few months as a drug dealer, there is something radically wrong in the system. Ask your conscience whose fault it is. Your heart will answer you,” Maj.Gen. Gunaratne said requesting them to leave the prison’s service, as a member of a respectable and proud profession, one day.
Meanwhile, the Defence Secretary requested the officials to treat the inmates equally. “Majority prisoners in prisons are innocent. All inmates should be treated equally. When one sleeps uncomfortably on the floor, another cannot sleep on a double layer mattress. Look into their problems, then they will start loving you from their heart,” he said.
He said that the officers who perform genuine service would face threats and difficulties but never turn back as the Defence Ministry was there to protect them. Commissioner General of Prison’s Thushara Upuldeniya, Justice and Law Reform Ministry Secretary Marina Mohommed and DIG Ajith Rohana were among those who were present at the event.