The government has decided to hand over 20 Pakistani prisoners including a woman to the Pakistani government. The prisoners have been sentenced to life imprisonment or serving long jail terms for drug trafficking.
Immigration and Emigration Controller General Chulananda Perera said most of them had been found guilty by court after being arrested by the police for smuggling in large stocks of illegal drugs including heroin.
When the first two prisoners handed over to the Pakistani government were brought to the Immigration and Emigration office at the Katunayake Airport, the Chief Immigration and Emigration Officer on duty Jayantha Ratnayake sought a clarification from the Pakistani High Commission.
The High Commission had informed that the Sri Lankan foreign ministry and the Pakistani High Commission had signed an agreement on July 27, 2012 to hand over the prisoners concerned to the Pakistani government under the powers vested in the Minister of Justice by virtue of Act No.05 of 1995.
The prisoners were allowed to leave the country after obtaining the documents relating to the handing over and blacklisting them to prevent them from entering to the country again.
Meanwhile, Chulananda Perera said it was for the first time that Pakistani prisoners serving jail terms for drug trafficking had been handed over in such a manner. (Deepa Adikari)