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Duminda receiving undue privileges

Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra said she had filed a complaint with the Prisons Commissioner regarding undue privileges granted to former parliamentarian Duminda Silva, incarcerated for the murder of her father.

Speaking to News Online, the Premachandra said she had received reports that some of the officers and jailors within the prison were helping Duminda Silva by according him with various advantages and privileges. “For instance,” she said, “A person sentenced to death can only see family members once a week.”

“However, we received reports that Duminda Silva is receiving family members very frequently.”

“Just yesterday, he was visited five times by his family,” the parliamentarian charged.

“This situation should be looked into,” she said. “Whatever position they may hold outside of prison, once sentenced, all death row prisoners must be treated the same way.

If they are allowing him unfair advantages, then the other prisoners on the death row must be afforded the same.”

“I don’t know what illness Duminda is suffering from,” she said, referring to reports that the former MP was moved to the prison hospital last week, with a viral fever, “but whatever the illness, and even while in hospital he is not allowed to receive undue privileges.”

“I am saying this because I am 100% aware of the situation,” she said.

When asked to comment on the former MP’s appeal to the Colombo High Court, that the verdict made sentencing him to death be set aside, she said, “Anyone can appeal their sentence - that is their right, we cannot stop them.”

“But I will watch this appeal very closely,” she said,

“Just as I have watched and worked on this case, the past five years.”