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* Sri Lankan people want reconciliation but some politicians lack will - President
Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 07:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 20, Kandy: The entire nation is faced with an unfortunate situation because all people in the country want reconciliation but some politicians in the country don't have the will for reconciliation which exists among the people, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

Speaking at a ceremony held to formally hand over the Bogambara Prison Complex in Kandy to the Government custody today (June 20), President Rajapaksa said some politicians want to betray the country for their narrow political ends.

"Those who pretend to represent the nation merely for power betray the country in the international forums," he said.

"There is nothing unachievable when we have the national unity. Therefore, everybody should get together to build the country," he added.

At the ceremony this morning Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera handed over the high security Bogambara Prison Complex in Kandy to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The government on January 1 this year permanently closed the country's second largest prison established by the British colonial rulers in the 19th century and shifted it from the historic hill capital of Central Province.

The 32-acre land of the Bogambara Prison situated near the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in the center of the world heritage city is to be used for commercial purposes as a building with historical and archeological value and a part of that land will be used for a new development project.

Over 2,700 Prisoners from the overcrowded maximum-security prison were moved to a new prison complex built in Pallekele at a cost of 1.93 billion rupees.

The prison, which had gallows, was one of the two prisons in Sri Lanka where the death penalty was implemented.

Prison relocation is a part of the government's plan to expand the prison network in the country and offer the inmates decent conditions according to international guidelines to serve their jail terms.

Chief Prelate of Ramanna Nikaya Ven Napane Pemasiri Thero, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Governor of Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake were also present at the occasion.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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