Presidential pardon for eight Tamil prisoners
According to Article 34 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the President Ranil Wickremesinghe has granted amnesty to eight Tamil prisoners who by the powers assigned to the President in connection with granting amnesty to a person convicted by a court of Sri Lanka.
As a result of several discussions between Tamil MPs and the President on several occasions, steps were taken to release these prisoners. Before their release, a preliminary investigation had been carried out on them with the intervention of the Ministry of Defence on the instructions of the President. This decision has been reached after consulting the Minister of Justice and through him the Attorney General about the consent report.
Three of the Tamil prisoners who were pardoned were those accused of attempting to assassinate former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Before proceeding with the process of releasing these prisoners, the President's Secretary Mr Saman Ekanayake had sought the approval of former President Mrs Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on the advice of the President, the relevant arrangements were made after obtaining her consent.
Accordingly, the four detainees with connections to the LTTE organization who were detained at the Colombo Magazine Prison were released after their sentence was reduced.
Two Tamil LTTE prisoners related to the organization are to be released after the cases filed by them in the Court of Appeal are withdrawn and two more Tamil prisoners are to be released soon under the presidential amnesty.
Three prisoners had been sentenced to 30 years in prison and had served 22 years, one prisoner who had been sentenced to 11 years and had served 14 years, one who has been sentenced to 10 years and had also served 14 years, two prisoners who were sentenced to five years but had served for14 years, were among those who received a presidential pardon. Another person who had been sentenced to 19 years in prison and had served 11 years of his sentence so far, was also among those who were pardoned.
President Media Division (PMD)