I arrest you in the name of the law....

Trip Start May 21, 2007
Trip End Aug 08, 2015

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, October 31, 2008

So, yesterday we spent the morning at Tangalle Prison, where the prisoners have just finished building a small Christian Chapel that was sponsored by Smile. The thing that struck us most was the fact that 80% of the prisoners are actually innocent when they are eventually tried, however it can take a few years for their case to be heard. We had the opportunity to visit both the male and female wings - at the time there were 22 females, only 2 of whom were convicted, and around 450 males. Crimes ranged from drug trafficking and fraud for males and membership of LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and stealing for the female inmates. Perhaps the most random part of our visit was when there were 20 of us in the Governor's office (a 10ft square room) and being served biscuits and warm Fanta in china cups. It was an eye-opener to see the conditions in which they lived, especially the female inmates as they shared 2 quite small cells and had no real exercise yard to speak of.  
This morning the "Smile Widows" came for their monthly gathering. This is an opportunity for 35 widows to come together for some fun, some educational talk and a lunch. At the end of their time, they also receive a food parcel to see them through the month. We struggled distributing these as they seemed to weigh the same as 4 elephants, although the tiny woman seemed to lift them with ease! I don't know hat that says about us!
This afternoon we were banished from the classroom as the afterschoolers were preparing items for our farewell tomorrow. This gave Ronali Miss Amma the chance to give the long termers their "talk". In the evening. A few of us went to visit the home of a boy that Colin from the team sponsors and then on to see a family who had a boat donated to them through a Smile donor.
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