Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has shown Christmas generosity by pardoning and releasing over 1,000 prisoners across the country. This decision, shared by a prisons official on Monday, included individuals who couldn’t pay fines.
Of the 1,004 prisoners released on Christmas day, many were Sri Lankan citizens facing jail time for financial reasons, as explained by Prison Commissioner Gamini Dissanayake.
Sri Lanka, primarily a Buddhist country, had a similar release of inmates in May during Vesak, a holiday honoring the Buddha’s life events.
This recent amnesty follows a week-long anti-narcotics effort, backed by the military and concluding on Christmas eve. The police reported the arrest of around 15,000 people, with 13,666 being suspects and nearly 1,100 identified as addicts, who were then sent for compulsory rehabilitation at a military facility.
Sri Lanka’s prisons are consistently overcrowded. As of last Friday, official data showed nearly 30,000 inmates in facilities designed for 11,000, highlighting an ongoing challenge.