A group of inmates of the Batticaloa prison launched a hunger strike this morning, officials said.
Around 40 inmates launched the hunger strike over various demands and warned that they would fast unto death if their demands are not met.
Of those on strike six had got on top of the prison roof to strike, prison officials said.
The prisoners are demanding the transfer of Sinhala speaking prison officials and the appointment of Tamil prison officials.
The prisoners are also demanding proper food and proper medical attention for inmates who fall ill.
Prison officials had discussions with the inmates in an attempt to urge them to call off their strike.