The conduct of prison officials makes the difference between the incarcerated drug lords and underworld gangsters in prisons to continue operating their networks from within prisons or put a stop to all their sinister operations.
Constructive changes have been made to curb illegal activities in prisons and I am happy to state that such measures have drastically reduced such activities.
The Defence Secretary and Chairman, Presidential Task Force to build a Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) made these remarks while delivering a guest lecture at the two-day workshop for Commissioners and Superintendents of Prisons titled “Preparing for Contingency Plan for Riot and Hostage Situations in Prisons”.
The workshop commenced this morning (30 Sep) at the Araliya Beach Resort in Unawatuna, Galle.
Highlighting the responsibility and importance of the appointment of Defence Secretary, he said that, as the highest official of a Ministry that comes under the purview of the President, the responsibility of ensuring security of all citizens through a national security mechanism falls on him.
He reiterated the importance of maintaining the professional dignity of prison officials through exemplary conduct and those who fail to do so should be expelled from the service.
Minister of Justice Hon. Ali Sabry MP PC gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest delivered the keynote address.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) funded by the European Union organized the workshop.
Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, the UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime.
Secretary, State Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoners' Rehabilitation Affairs Maj. Gen. V R Silva (Retd), Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya and National Specialist-UNODC Dr. Nilupul Gunawardena were among those present at the occasion.
Commissioner General of Prisons presented a memento to the Defence Secretary during the session.