By Piyumi Fonseka
President Maithripala Sirisena had used ‘Presidential Pardon’ on no rational basis but political motives by releasing Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) alleged yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference in Maradana yesterday, CPRP Chairman, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera said it was apparent from the history of Sri Lanka that the ‘pardoning power’ provided in the Article 34 of the Constitution had been used by former Presidents to release their political associates from prison.
He said that there had been repeated appeals from prisoners who are entitled to be released by expiration of term of sentence, upon grant of a pardon or commutation of sentence depending on their good conduct according to the Prisons Ordinance.
“Releasing a convict of a contempt of court case is unacceptable when there are hundreds of prisoners who are really qualified for a presidential pardon. Thereby, the true meaning of the Article 12 (All persons are equal before the law) is violated,” he said.
Releasing a convict of a contempt of court case is unacceptable when there are hundreds of prisoners who are really qualified for a presidential pardon