July 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena says the day, a bill to abolish the death penalty is brought to parliament, handing over the country to the drug traffickers, underworld and rapists, will be a day of national mourning.
President Sirisena made this observation addressing a ceremony held to present land permits to 5,000 Mahaweli farmers in the Walawa Zone at the Walawa Regional Residential Business Management Office grounds today (14).
Addressing the gathering, the President said drug dealers and criminals in the country will be victorious in trying to pass a bill to abolish the death penalty in Parliament for the need of some government members.
The President said he would not allow the drug dealers and criminals to ruin the future of the country's children and stressed that every step would be taken to combat the drug trafficking and would not reverse his decision to implement the death penalty.
The President also claimed that some people have opposed the decision to carry out the death penalty as per the requirements of foreign forces.
Therefore, the President said a broader voice calling that the country needs the death penalty should be built among the people who love the country and the children and invited all the people to join him.
The President's unilateral decision to implement death penalty has been condemned by various local as well as international parties including the US, EU, UK, Canada and human right organizations.
The Sri Lankan government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, pointing out that Sri Lanka in December 2018 voted in favor of a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty at the UN General Assembly, as well as the Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had announced their opposition to implementing the death sentence after a 43-year moratorium.
Sri Lanka courts hand out death sentences to convicts of serious crimes according to the current laws but the island nation has not carried out any executions since 1976. A Private Member's Motion has been presented in parliament to abolish the death penalty.