LTTE suspects may have had international links
July 3, 2012
The Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation said that they were investigating whether the LTTE suspects at the Vavuniya Prison had international links as three satellite phones had been found in their possession after the hostage crisis came to an end.

Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that it was a terrorist act and it showed that the LTTE suspects in custody were still in a terror mindset. “This can also be an effort by them to hinder our future plans and the rehabilitation process of their fellow cadres,” he said.

The government is also conducting an investigation into the incident. Prisons officers found 56 mobile phones in the possession of the LTTE suspects.

The minister also noted that at the time of the incident only ten prison guards were on duty. Altogether there are 53 prison guards and officers on duty at the Vavuniya Prison.

“On that day twenty were in four magistrates’ courts in the Vavuniya District. The LTTE suspects knew this and took the maximum advantage of the situation,” he said. “We were not ready to face such a situation and we did not have resources to face such a crisis either, and that is why we asked for help from the security forces, police and STF,” he said.

The 32 LTTE suspects and other 213 inmates were transferred to the Anuradhapura Prison after the hostage crisis came to an end. It was reported that three LTTE suspects had later been transferred to Bogambara Prison and the others to Mahara Prison.

The minister added that 250 new officers would be recruited to the newly established Riot and Prison Intelligence Unit. New metal detectors were being purchased currently by the ministry to bring an end to the culture of bringing phones and drugs into prison, he said.

He said that raids would be carried out continually and no inmate would be allowed to rule inside a prison complex.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation said yesterday that they were discussing the possibility of relocating the Vavuniya Prison.

A senior officer said that the prison would be used in future to house suspects who were to be taken to court for a short time. He said that a 40-perch plot land was not enough to house 32 LTTE suspects and 213 other inmates.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka