No political revenge on anyone - Defence Secretary

Defence Secretary, General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne said the government will not resort to taking political revenge from anyone.

Speaking to the media after paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy yesterday (29), he said if the government had resorted to political retaliations after coming to power, many would have been in prison today. He said no arrests have been made for any reason other than those who have been convicted of wrongdoing upto now.

He said that the President, the Prime Minister, the government and government officials will not resort to political retaliation.

He also stressed that steps will be taken to rectify any injustice that has taken place after discussing with the Attorney General regarding those who have been subjected to political retaliation in the past.

He said the protests over the issue of cremation of COVID dead was a problem and that decisions should be taken in accordance with the health recommendations and the President has instructed a team of medical experts to look into the matter and make a decision, he said.

He said that tourists have been allowed to enter the country in the face of a number of stringent restrictions on compliance with health criteria and that they are not able to travel to tourist destinations as freely as before. They will be able to go to those places after conducting two PCR tests following the quarantine process.

He said the government would never take action to release criminals on the grounds that the number of inmates in prisons had increased and that about 7,500 of the 8,500 inmates released in the past were drug-related offenders. Many youths arrested for possession of drugs could not be released until the forensic report on the drug was received. He said the number of detainees in prisons had risen to about 32,000.

He said it was more important to rehabilitate and reintegrate the young who have been fallen for drugs, after their arrest. The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board was building a rehabilitation center called ‘Nawa Diganthaya’ that could rehabilitate thousands at a time. There is a possibility of rehabilitating 1,000 in Kandakadu and the number will be increased by another 500. He added that there is a possibility of rehabilitating 2,000 to 2,500 persons there.

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