Sri Lanka releases 2,000 prisoners on Independence Day

Feb 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka on Saturday released 2,000 prisoners who were convicted of minor offenses to mark the country’s National Independence Day that falls on today.

The prisoners who are over the age of 70 or jailed for not being able to pay fines imposed on them have been released from the country’s main prisons.

According to the Secretary to the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, A. Dissanayake, 1,500 prisoners were unable to pay their fines.

A majority of the prisoners released were from Sri Lanka’s main Welikada Prison in Colombo. Authorities released 110 prisoners from the Bogambara Prison in Kandy under a General Pardon at a function held under the patronage of Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, the state-run television ITN reported.

A total of 110 prisoners jailed due to their inability to pay fines were released from Polonnaruwa, Galle and Vavuniya prisons. Kalutara prison released 72 prisoners who were over 70 years of age.

Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera had said earlier that the government is considering to assign those released prisoners work in development projects.

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