The Sri Lanka Department of Prisons issued a clarification on the allegations of participation of prisoners in the attacks on anti-government protesters in Colombo yesterday.
The media spokesman of the Prisons Department Chandana Ekanayake refuted reports claiming that inmates from the Watareka Open Prison Camp were part of the attackers.
He said that 181 inmates from the Watareka prison were transported in civil attire for rehabilitation work at three construction sites under the regular rehabilitation programme of the prison department.
Chandana Ekanayake said that the group of prisoners had been dispatched to locations in Colpetty, Rajagiriya, and Battaramulla yesterday and had been attacked by the public while returning to the prison.
He said the public had removed the prisoners from the bus they were being transported in, in the Thalahena area last evening and had assaulted them.
The public had acted in such a manner thinking that the prisoners had been part of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led attacks on anti-government protesters in Colombo, he said.
The media spokesman of the Prisons Department said 58 inmates among the 181 who were deployed to construction sites as part of their rehabilitation programme are reported missing as of now.
Chandana Ekanayake called on the public to assist if any prisoner approaches them for help and to hand them over to the closest Police Station. (NewsWire)