Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake has reportedly intervened to minimize the death sentence given to five persons fund guilty of killing 11 people during the 1988-1989 terror period. Dissanayake has managed to get the President to minimize the sentence to 20 years in prison.
The five persons have now been transferred to the normal prison wards from the section allocated for prisoners under death row.
The five persons had been found guilty of entering a house where there was a pirith in Hanguranketha in during the 1988-1989 period and shooting the people at the venue killing 11 and injuring 12 persons.
The Divaina newspaper has reported quoting sources from the Bogambara Prison that since the death sentence has been minimized to 20 years in prison and considering the time they have already spent behind bars, the prisoners are likely to be released within a few months.
They have been sentenced to death ion 2007 and an appeal filed before the Court of Appeal has also issued the same sentence.
The five prisoners are David, Basnayake, Sudu Banda, Athula and Wijesekera from Hanguranketha.
Minister Dissanayake had also visited these prisoners on several occasions.