Sri Lanka troops accused of jail ‘massacre’



Agence France Presse

Published — Sunday 11 November 2012

Last update 11 November 2012 4:24 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s main opposition party Sunday demanded an independent inquiry into a prison riot that left 27 convicts dead, alleging many were shot by security forces in a cold-blooded “massacre.”
The United National Party (UNP) called for a parliamentary investigation into the riot that erupted on Friday evening at the maximum-security Welikada prison in the capital Colombo.
“This is nothing but a massacre,” UNP spokesman Mangala Samaraweera told AFP. “Most of the convicts appeared to have been killed in cold blood. We want a parliamentary select committee to go into this.”
Troops were deployed to quell the riots and the military retained a heavy presence at the sprawling prison complex Sunday.
During the riot, armed inmates climbed onto the roof and fired at troops and police. A handful escaped and hijacked a three-wheel rickshaw taxi which was stopped by heavy gunfire from security personnel.
Prisons Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told parliament Saturday that 27 inmates were killed and 43 others — including 13 police commandos, four soldiers and two civilians — were injured.
He said there would be an internal prisons department inquiry into the riot, which was sparked by a police commando raid for contraband inside the prison on Friday.
The violence continued until early Saturday with some prisoners raiding a jail armory and grabbing about 80 weapons, including automatic rifles.
Prisons chief P.W. Koddippili said guards were searching the site Sunday for a small number of guns which were still missing. Officials declined to say if any prisoners had escaped during the unrest.
Friday’s violence was the worst prison riot in Sri Lanka since 1983, when more than 50 ethnic Tamil prisoners were massacred at the same jail by Sinhalese convicts during anti-Tamil riots that gripped the country.
There was similar violence at the same penitentiary in January when 25 inmates and four guards were injured.
The authorities have yet to release autopsy reports on the dead. Colombo police chief Anura Senanayake said most of those killed were hard-core criminals, some of them serving life terms.
The opposition UNP also demanded answers from the government on how the armed forces were deployed at the weekend, when emergency laws were no longer in operation after the end of the country’s ethnic war in 2009.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse who works at a clinic in Riyadh has been missing for a week, her colleagues has said.According to a co-worker at the clinic, the 43-year-old nurse from from Lamitan town in Basilan province, southern Philippines, wa...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook