The Prisons Department is considering a proposal to send a group of prisoners who have been of good behaviour to India on pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage to India will be part of the rehabilitation and correctional process according to the Prisons Department.
The idea had been given by one of the members of the Prisoners Welfare Association and it was accepted by Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera, according to prison sources.
The proposal is to send 30 to 40 male prisoners who had not committed serious and heinous crimes and who had demonstrated good behaviour throughout the terms they are currently serving.
However a specific time for the pilgrimage have not been proposed yet. Besides the facility to make pilgrimages to Buddhist sites in India, sources said moves would be made to facilitate similar pilgrimages to Hindus, Muslims and Catholics as well.
However, they said the department or the ministry would need legal clearance from the Attorney General to implement such a prorgamme. The other main difficulty would be in persuading India to issue visas for the inmates, Prisons Department sources said.
The Ministry has initiated many programmes to uplift facilities and educate prisoners that society would accept them when they returned having realized the mistakes they committed in life which led them to serve prison terms. (By Supun Dias)