A protest was held this week at the Hulftsdorp Courts complex premises by family members and relatives of the 27 prisoners killed in the State sponsored Welikada Prison massacre of 2012, demanding an investigation into the murders, seeking justice for their loved ones.

The silent protest was conducted on July 7 when the petition filed by an eyewitness to the massacre, a political prisoner and inmate at Welikada at the time, Sudesh Nandimal, was fixed for support in the Court of Appeal. The petitioner is represented by Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera.

Previously a petition was filed before the Court of Appeal seeking the issue of a writ of mandamus on the respondents, the Commissioner General of Prisons, the Inspector General of Police, the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Attorney General and the Minister in charge of the portfolio and subject of prisons to commence investigations into the 2012 the Welikada Prison riots, which claimed the lives of 27 prisoners.

Perera said that the crime needed to be investigated. Apart from the issuing of a writ of mandamus, Perera informed that they wanted the Court to issue notice on the CID and the Police.

The culprits responsible for the killing of 27 inmates must be brought to book. Although various committees and commissions have been appointed in this regard as largely face-saving measures in the face of mounting opposition to the lack of Government will in this regard, justice has yet to be done. The Police thus far have failed to arrest the perpetrators and produce them before Court. There has also since been a Governmental move by way of the awarding of compensation to the next of kin and to those who sustained injuries during what the previous Government claims was a riot. This move has been aptly described in certain quarters as both a deal and an attempt to sweep the grave crime under the carpet by not taking in those responsible for the massacre.
“We are confident that the writ will be issued,” Perera added.