Dec 02, Colombo: The secretary of the Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation G.S. Vithanage says that discussions are under way with the Ministry of Health to take over an island in Batticaloa in the Eastern coast to house the hardcore prisoners.
According to Ministry officials, the need for housing hardcore prisoners away from the normal prisoners and remanded suspects has been highlighted following the recent riots in Welikada Prison in the heart of Colombo city. The riot at the prison last month led to the death of 27 inmates.
Currently, the Manthivu Island houses a leprosy hospital where a handful of homeless patients stay. The Prisons Department is in discussions to exchange the island with a prison in Hambantota.
However, sources from Batticaloa say that Manthivu Island which is famous for bird watching is an asset with unused potentials for promoting tourism.