Sri Lanka is currently looking at all aspects of the issue of five Tamil Nadu fishermen who were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for drug trafficking, President’s Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said.
“The process is being discussed at the highest levels and the issue is being looked at from all angles. It might take some time as it is not a simple process. A decision will be taken once the process is over,” the spokesman said.
Samaranayake has said that one of the options discussed is a staggered process beginning with the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment, followed by repatriation to India under the 2010 bilateral agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners.
He said the government is considering the judicial aspect too. “The appeal filed against the death sentence will have to be withdrawn first, because no decision can be taken on commutation or release, till such time an appeal is pending,” he explained.
“The government is also considering the implications of the charge. It is not simple poaching in our waters, but drug smuggling,” Samaranayake pointed out.