The two named Dhanivel Mani and Lebbai Jalaluddin Mohifeen Mohadeem have been held in Sri Lanka since 2016. (Getty Images)

Two Indian nationals have been sentenced to life terms in Sri Lanka for drug pedaling, police said on Wednesday (18).

The two named Dhanivel Mani and Lebbai Jalaluddin Mohifeen Mohadeem have been held in Sri Lanka since 2016.

They were sentenced by the Negombo High Court on Tuesday after they admitted to pedalling heroin, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

They were arrested by the Sri Lanka Customs and handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau.

The sentencing came as president Maithripala Sirisena was contemplating action to renew the capital punishment for drug-related crime. Sirisena’s move was halted by the apex court in response to a petition filed by public interest activists.

The president had signed four death warrants when the supreme court stayed the executions till October 30.

Sirisena’s decision came in spite of a UN moratorium on death penalty which Sri Lanka has been a part of.

All Sirisena’s presidential predecessors since 1978 had declined to sign death warrants for capital punishment. The death sentence is commuted to life terms.

Sirisena said he was compelled to reintroduce the death penalty related to drug crimes due to the growing menace of drugs.

PTI