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New concept for Weerawila prison

The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry is to develop the Weerawila prison as an environmental prison in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry, Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said.

This is a new concept which, the ministry is going to introduce to calm prisoners who have tension in their minds.

This will be a good step to rehabilitate prisoners, he said.

Under this programme the ministry is going to make prisoners close to the environment and agriculture. Local and foreign tourists are allowed observe works of prisoner's in this centre and prisoners are allowed to develop their thinking to prevent their previous faults from recurring, he said.

There are around 130 acres in the Weerawila prison. Utilizing this site, the ministry will cultivate and develop the site.

The ministry has drawn up plans to sell prisoners' products at sales outlets. The authorities has planned to utilize prison labour as well, he said.

According to the minister fruits, vegetables and other crops will be cultivated in these parks.

The ministry has drawn up plans to develop the site as a golf course, he said. The tourist centres will have restaurants where the tourists can taste food grown and prepared by the prisoners. The tourist centres in the prison premises will further have outlets that sell handicrafts made by the prisoners .

The prisoners will also present cultural shows to the tourists at these centres, he said. Meanwhile the Mahara prison will also be developed as an environmental prison but it will not be opened for visitors, he said.

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