Mr. Ekanayake said that food is not prepared with sweat, phlegm or rotten fish in them under any circumstances. He said that the public health inspectors and doctors attached to the Prison conduct inspections and then release food to the prisons when necessary.
If substandard food items are found, he said that they will not be taken into the prisons.
He said that after checking the food provided by the suppliers at the prison gate and handing it over to the prison kitchen, all the work is done by the inmates under the supervision of the prison officers including cleaning, cooking and distributing them among the inmates. Therefore, he said that he doesn’t believe that food is mixed with phlegm etc. The Commissioner further said that the inmates are also provided with the aprons, head coverings, etc. needed to prepare food and ensure that these foods are cooked in a healthy way.
He said that if there is any substandard food, all the inmates including the inmates who cook the food would have protested against it. “Hundred thousands of prisoners go to the prisons each year and no such problem has arisen so far,” he said.
Mr. Ekanayake said that the first sample from the prepared meal will be given to the chief jailer of the prison for examination and if there is an issue, the inmates will inform the prison superintendent, the chief jailer or the authorities about it.
He further said that Mr. Ramanayake has not complained to the prison officials about the condition of the food during the one and a half year period that he was in the prison.
“My service in the prison department is 37 years. During my service, I have never seen or heard of a single lentil curry in which a cat was found,” he said.
Mr. Ekanayake has also issued a statement over the issue which states that the selection of suppliers to supply food items to the prisons is done through procurement methods and they have entered into agreements with the Prisons Department to supply food items required daily in accordance with the standards.
After being pardoned by the President, former MP Ramanayake announced at a news briefing held recently that food unfit for consumption is being given to the prisoners.