By Shamindra Ferdinando
Manohara de Silva, PC, yesterday (23) said that the government owed an explanation regarding a presidential pardon for two LTTE cadres serving jail terms for one of the worst atrocities perpetrated by the LTTE outside the Northern and Eastern provinces during the war.
Saying that he didn’t object to presidential pardon under special circumstances, the President’s Council underscored the need to be extra cautious in granting such pardons to those convicted of terrorism.
De Silva was commenting on the recent release of Selliah Navaratnam, 69, and S. Sanmugarajah, 56, sentenced to 200 years in prison and life sentence, respectively, over the 31 January 1996, suicide attack on the Central Bank building. The blast claimed the lives of 91 persons. Hundreds of others received injuries.
The two former LTTE members were released from the Magazine Prison on 18 July. Navaratnam had his sentence also upheld by the Court of Appeal. De Silva admitted that over the years, presidential pardons had been granted to members of the LTTE during the war and afterwards, and other convicts. He noted that the Prisons Department was on record as having said that they had been granted a presidential pardon for good behaviour.
Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya, contacted for comment, requested The Island to contact the Justice Ministry in this regard. He politely declined to comment in response to our query regarding the circumstances of their release on 18 July.
Disclaimer: Bomb attack on CB: Manohara frowns on presidential pardon for two convicted Tigers - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view