Some 762 prisoners are to be released on presidential pardon in view of Vesak Poya which falls on Saturday, the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry said yesterday. It said the national ceremony would be held under the aegis of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Welikada Prison ground to release all 762 prisoners at 10 am on Vesak Poya Day.
Twenty six female prisoners are among the prisoners who would be given presidential pardon.
“Prisoners from some 30 prisons, including 117 from Welikada, 62 from Pallekelle, 55 from Mahara, 50 from Anuradhapura and 53 from Pallansena will be given presidential pardon,” the ministry said.
It said the pardon will be given according to clause 34 of the Constitution and that 762 is the largest number of prisoners ever to be released on a presidential pardon.
“Those who are in prison for minor crimes will be released. However, those who have been convicted of rape, child abuse and drug offences, would not be released,” the ministry said.