While stating that he had excelled in all tasks of the ministry until now, Ratwatte says he expects the President's directive on his resignation effective from today, without inconveniencing the government over the details being disseminated in the media.
In a media release, the President's Media Division has said that the President has accepted the resignation.
The PMD release states that Ratwatte has resigned after accepting responsibility over his conduct at the incidents that occured at the Welikada and Anuradhapura prisons.
Ratwatte's resignation and the PMD statement is shown below.
Still a State minister?
However, according to the documents Ratwatte has resigned only from his State ministerial portfolio of Prison Management & Prisoners’ Rehabilitation.
No mention has been made of his other state ministerial portfolio, which is the State ministry of Gem & Jewelry related Industries.
Accordingly, sources say that he would still continue to remain as a State minister of Sri Lanka.
Ratwatte was initially appointed as the State minister of Gem & Jewelry related Industries and was later appointed as the State Minister of Prison Management & Prisoners’ Rehabilitation after Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle was reassigned as the State minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID-19 Disease Control.
PM calls from Italy
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today has called Ratwatta, urging him to resign from his portfolio immediately, 'Daily Mirror' reported earlier.
The PM, who is currently in Italy, has also phoned President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, it adds.
Daily Mirror further reports that the PM has also called for a full scale investigation into the allegations against Ratwatta.
Yesterday (14), Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader - MP Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam Tweeted that State Minister of Prisons - Lohan Ratwatte had made two Tamil political prisoners at Anuradhapura prison kneel before him, and threatened to shoot them on the spot.
The incident had sparked outrage and widespread condemnation, with many parties calling for Ratwatte's resignation.