Sept 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that large scale drug dealers made their businesses freely absconding the prevailing laws while drug addicts were punished with life imprisonment. Therefore, he pointed out the need for reform of laws that pave way to social injustice.
The President made these observations at a ceremony held in the President's official residence Temple Trees to mark the passed Prison Inmates Day.
Meeting 500 rehabilitated prison inmates and the prison officials at the Temple Trees, the President asked the prison inmates to be fruitful citizens for the motherland.
"If a society is full of law abiding citizens there will be no need for prisons," he said adding that "skills of the prison inmates as well can be utilized for the national development process."
The President further said that the severe congestion in prisons has also caused the increase of crimes. "Therefore, measures have been taken to ease the congestion in prisons," he said.
The President presented awards to prisoners who has demonstrated special skills and awarded the Best Prison. Superintendent of Pallekale prison Tissa Jayasinghe was presented with the award for the Best Outdoor Prison.
Mrs. Indrani Iriyagolla, Vice President of the Prisoners Welfare Association pinned the first prisoner welfare flag on the President and the Commissioner General of Prisons, Major general Vajira R. Silva presented a handicraft created by a prisoner to the President.
(Pictures by Nalin Hewapathirana)