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Steps to expedite suspects arrested under PTA

 

The Attorney General’s Department will take steps to expedite the cases of those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), said Minister of Prison Reforms, Resettlement and Rehabilitation today.

The Minister addressing the National Prisoners Day celebrations held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute explained that the Attorney General had assured him that steps are being taken to deal with 73 cases filed under the PTA.

“The AG said they would push for these cases to be heard on a daily basis and if there are any postponements, they should be no longer than two weeks”, said Minister Swaminathan.

“The cases will be finished at the earliest”, he added.

National Prisoners Day commemorated by the Prisoners Welfare Association together with the Prisons Department had many cultural performances put forward by the prisoners themselves. The Prisoners Welfare Association which celebrated 100 years this year also awarded scholarships to children of prisoners.

The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the need to reintegrate prisoners into mainstream society once they leave prison. He asked that businesses hire them and that society ‘accept’ them as rehabilitated individuals.

Swaminathan further highlighting weaknesses within the Prison Department said he could not tackle the long ingrained corruption within the Department overnight.

“There is something radically wrong when prisoners start escaping prison”, said the Minister as he admitted that they had serious shortage of staff which makes things harder to handle.

“We have to fill some 600 odd vacancies and we are working on that and if the Ministry of Finance agrees, we will fill them as soon as possible”, he said.