Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, on Saturday, insisted that he will go ahead with implementing the death penalty on serious offenders on death row for drug trafficking.
Speaking at an event the President said that he will implement the death penalty despite strong objections being raised against the move.
The international community, including the European Union, local civil society, human rights groups and some Christians have raised concerns over the President’s decision.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission had also written to President Maithripala Sirisena raising concerns over moves to implement the death penalty on convicts involved in drug trafficking.
Commission Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama had said in the letter that the death penalty is a serious human rights violation.
Udagama said that the commission does not feel implementing the death penalty can address the issue of drug trafficking.
Cabinet approval had been obtained to implement the death penalty on repeat offenders related to large scale drug offences.
A list of 18 convicts has been compiled and the President is to sign the documents to implement the death penalty on them.
The Government had said that there was a need to implement the death penalty to curb the spread of crimes related to drugs.