Sri Lanka frees prisoners on independence anniversary   2015-02-04 15:45:29

COLOMBO, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday freed over 550 prisoners to mark the Independence Day, Commissioner General of Prisons Chandraratne Pallegama said.

He said 557 prisoners were freed, of which 17 are females. The prisoners freed were facing jail terms for minor offenses.

Chandraratne Pallegama said the prisoners were released on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The official said those who are in prison after being unable to pay their fines will not need to pay the fine as part of the amnesty being offered for Independence Day.

He also said those who completed 75 years as of Wednesday and are in prison for minor offenses were also set free.

"All those in jail for serious crimes were not freed," Pallegama added.

Sri Lanka on Wednesday celebrated its 67th Independence Day anniversary with a ceremony staged near the parliament.

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