President Rajapaksa has said that the word ‘prison’ must be changed into Rehabilitation Centres.
The President pointed out that prisons can be closed down through the creation of a society that abides by the five precepts of Buddhism. He sees “Prisoners are also human” written on the walls of the Welikada Prison, the truthfulness of which he realized when he was in prison. He reminded that while he was in prison, the politicians of that time tried to prevent him from attending his mother’s funeral, and when he came back to prison after attending to the final rites of the funeral, the fellow inmates expressed their sorrow. The President emphasized the need to effect changes in prisons as well in line with changes in other fields, to make the country the Miracle of Asia
The President was addressing the National Prisoners’ Day celebrations at the Sanath Jayasooriya Grounds in Matara. The President said that inmates need to be released to society after providing them with some vocational knowledge and thereby inculcating confidence about a living in them.
The President handed over the Award for the most obedient prisoner. The children of the detainees also received gifts. The Moneragala Prison emerged the Best Prison while Taldena Work Camp became the Best Work Camp. Ministers Chandrasiri Gajadheera and Dallas Alahapperums were among those present.
The President later declared open an exhibition of crafts made by the prison inmates and appreciated the creative skills of the inmates.