Ratwatte tenders resignation amid controversy
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte tendered his resignation yesterday (15), following the controversy that erupted after his alleged break-ins at Welikada and Anuradhapura Prisons.
In his letter of resignation to the President, Ratwatte first thanked the President for giving him the portfolio of Prison Management and faith and trust the President had in him to manage prisons and rehabilitate the prisoners. He said that everything has been handled successfully under his purview so far and that he is volunteering to step down from 15 September 2021 due to the media reports circulating about him have caused inconvenience to the Government.
Although Ratwatte neither accepted nor denied any involvements in the said controversies, President’s Media Spokesperson Kingsley Rathnayake tweeted that Ratwattte resigned after taking responsibility for the incidents.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accepted Ratwatte’s resignation on the same day. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also called Ratwatte to step down from his portfolio for allegedly entering the Anuradhapura and Welikada Prisons with a pistol and threatening detainees. Following his actions at the two prisons, several civil society leaders, including opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, Tamil politicians and diplomats called for the Minister’s arrest.