Prisons Ordinance doesn’t prohibit private hospital treatment – CPRP

The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) pointed out that there was no provision in the Prisons Ordinance that prevented a suspect in remand custody from seeking treatment from a private hospital or a private medical doctor.

The Committee made this clarification in response to Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila’s claim that allowing suspect former Minister and current MP Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to obtain treatment from a private hospital during the period he was ordered to be placed in remand custody was in violation of the relevant law. Gammanpila had also taken the Prisons Commissioner General to task over it.

Chairman of the Committee, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, speaking to Ceylon Today said while there were restrictions such as convicts having to obtain treatment in State/Governmental hospitals, in the case of suspects in remand custody, they were even allowed to have their meals brought from their homes. 

“People who did not utter a word when the law of the land including the Prisons Ordinance was violated after external parties entered the Welikada Prison and killed prisoners or during incidents of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and even when  no proper meals were provided, now claim for their personal political agendas, that the Prisons law is violated,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perera gave a statement to the Borella Police Criminal Unit yesterday (2) after receiving a summons with regard to a petition lodged concerning an alleged incident where a firearm had been smuggled into the Magazine Prison, and the same petition had mentioned of the involvement of a prisoners rights group without specifying the CPRP. This is yet another feeble attempt in a series of such efforts including intimidation and threats (including death threats) over the years to thwart our interventions on behalf of prisoners’ rights including concerning the infamous Welikada Prison massacre of November 2012 which claimed the lives of 27 prisoners, he added.

-By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

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