Boossa strike continues, numbers dwindle
By Thameenah Razeek
The hunger strike launched by several inmates, including infamous underworld figures, detained at the Boossa Prison, based on several demands, continues for the fifth day with 15 strikers of the original 40.
A total of 40 inmates including notorious underworld ring leaders and drug traffickers Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias 'Wele Suda', Mohommad Najim Mohommad Imran alias ‘Kanjipani Imran’, Anith Madhusanka de Silva alias ‘Podi Lassi’ and Tharaka Perera Wijesekera alias ‘Kosgoda Tharaka’ engaged in the hunger strike on 10 September. The noted drug traffickers are still on strike while 25 of the original 40 broke their fast.
On Friday, ‘Kanjipani Imran’, who was engaging in the hunger strike, was transferred to the Navy Hospital in Boossa and later transported back to the Boossa Prison following several medical tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG). ‘Potta Naufer’, ‘Army Sampath’ and three other notorious criminals have decided not to support the strike action.
The inmates on strike are demanding to increase the amount given per inmate per month to buy items from the Prison cafeteria from Rs 8,000 to a higher amount, extending the half-hour time limit for talking to their lawyers, increase in the number of visitors per inmate and to stop the thorough search operations conducted by the Special Task Force (STF) after inmates return from Courts.
When the Prison Department was asked if they would agree to the demands, the Commissioner of Prisons (Administration) Chandana Ekanayake yesterday (13) said they decided not to agree. “In the same way the others withdrew from the strike, we expect the rest to gradually withdraw,” he said.