South Asia

Sri Lankan govt to decide on fishermen’s case in ‘due course’

 A decision on the probable pardon of the five Indian fishermen on death row can be expected in due course, the Sri Lankan government said on Wednesday.

“The Indian High Commission has informed the President’s office about the withdrawal of the appeal made on behalf of the fishermen. A decision will be taken in due course,” Presidential spokesperson Mohan Samaranayake told  The Hindu Wednesday morning.  

Following the October 30 judgment of the Colombo High Court, sentencing to death five Indian fishermen in an alleged case of drug trafficking, the Indian government made efforts through legal and diplomatic channels for a possible pardon. New Delhi,  The Hindu earlier reported, has been pushing at the highest levels for a full pardon.  

Last week, ministers in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government had announced that the President was ready to pardon the fishermen if the appeal made by the Indian side was withdrawn. The President’s office, meanwhile, maintained that no decision had been taken on the pardon of the fishermen or the commutation of their sentence.

Spokesperson Mohan Samaranayake had however said one of the steps in the process was the withdrawal of the appeal.

New Delhi has maintained that the five fishermen are innocent as per available GPS data. On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj assured a fishermen delegation in New Delhi that the Indian government would secure the release of the five fishermen.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 10:33:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/sri-lankan-govt-to-decide-on-fishermens-case-in-due-course/article6614360.ece

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