Sri Lanka’s 71st Independence Day celebrations witnessed the release of over 500 prisoners from across the country under a presidential pardon.

Commissioner of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said 545 prisoners convicted of minor offences under the Penal Code were granted presidential pardons on the recommendation of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms.

Based on their behaviour during the detention period, inmates from 29 prisons in the country – 41 prisoners from Welikada Prison, 46 from Anuradhapura Prison and 36 from Pallekele prison – were pardoned and released.