Colombo, May 10 (NIA) – 550 prisoners were released from Sri Lankan prisons across the island on Wednesday on a Presidential pardon to commemorate the UN Vesak Day celebrations, the Department of Prisons said.
Those released were prisoners facing minor offences.
President Maithripala Sirisena had issued the pardon following a proposal made by the Prison Reforms Minister D.M. Swaminathan to the Justice Ministry following a recommendation by the Prisons Department.
Officials from the Prisons Department said inmates facing sentences for major crimes such as murder, rape, terror activities etc had not been considered for the Presidential Pardon.
The UN Vesak Day celebrations will be celebrated across Sri Lanka this week to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.
Several foreign dignitaries including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandar are expected to attend the Vesak events.