Fundamental Rights Petition Filed Against State Minister Lohan Ratwatte
Researcher at Sri Lanka Team
Global Human Rights Defence
On September 30, 2021, eight prisoners at the Anuradhapura Prison, detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), lodged a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court against State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners' Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte (Daily Mirror, 2021). The complaint was filed in response to Ratwatte entering the prison premises in an intoxicated state, summoning Tamil prisoners, threatening the prisoners at gunpoint and abusing them on September 12, 2021 (Rathnayake, 2021). The petition states a clear violation of the fundamental rights of the prisoners under Articles 12(1) and 12(2). Shockingly, Ratwatte entered Welikada Prison on the following day, that is, September 13, along with his intoxicated friends and proceeded to abuse the prisoners detained under PTA (Rathnayake, 2021). These unfortunate incidents highlight the detainees' deplorable conditions from minority Muslims and Tamils detained under the draconian and abusive PTA and its newly enacted Regulations (Chamra, 2021).
Daily Mirror (2021, September 30). Eight prisoners at Anuradhapura prison file FR against Lohan Ratwatte. https://www.dailymirror.lk/latest_news/Eight-prisoners-at-Anuradhapura-prison-file-FR-against-Lohan-Ratwatte/342-221479
Rathnayake, D. (2021, September 15). Lohan Ratwatteallegedly breaks into Anuradhapura Prison. The morning. https://www.themorning.lk/lohan-ratwatte-breaks-into-anuradhapura-prison/
Chamra, S. (2021, September 21). Behind bars, beyond justice?. The morning. https://www.themorning.lk/behind-bars-beyond-justice/