SRI LANKA: PRESIDENT TO PARDON ELDERLY CONDEMNED PRISONERS
July 28, 2013: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Minister of Prisons Rehabilitation and Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera and the Commissioner General of Prisons Chandraratna Pallegama to take steps to provide relief to the elderly condemned prisoners.
Accordingly, the condemned prisoners who are over 60 years of age and who have been imprisoned for more than ten years will be pardoned.
Prison sources say that the documents in this regard are being prepared now.
Sources say that 15 prisoners of this category are in Welikada prison and some of them are ill.
Sri Lanka recognizes death penalty in principle but it is not implemented since the President does not endorse it. All death penalty cases have been commuted to life in prison and there have been no executions since 1973.
Although the government reinstated the death penalty in 2004 for murder, rape and drug trafficking following the murder of a high court judge, no execution has been carried out yet. (Sources: ColomboPage, 29/07/2013)