Jan 01, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is yet to decide on implementing the death penalty in the country despite the call from the public and right activists in response to the escalating crime rate.
Secretary of External Affairs Ministry Karunathilaka Amunugama has said the government has not decided on implementing the death penalty and not made a policy decision on the capital punishment.
He has explained that the death penalty has become a debate in society due to the reported increase in the crime rate.
According to Amunugama, he had advised the External Affairs Ministry officials in New York to abstain from voting when the vote was taken on the draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Sri Lanka recognizes death penalty in principle but it is not implemented since the President does not endorse it. All death penalty cases have been commuted to life in prison and there have been no executions since 1973.
Although the government reinstated the death penalty in 2004 for murder, rape and drug trafficking following the murder of a high court judge, no execution has been carried out yet.