EU, Canada and Norway write to President on death penalty

The Delegation of the European Union, the missions of the EU Member States in Sri Lanka as well as the diplomatic missions of the Governments of Canada and Norway in Sri Lanka have written to President Maithripala Sirisena to verify the worrying information in the public domain about the intention of the Sri Lankan Government to resume implementing the death penalty after a moratorium of more than 40 years, an EU statement said today.

The diplomatic missions have made known in their letter that they strongly and unequivocally oppose capital punishment in all circumstances and in all cases.

“The death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible,” the statement said.

The diplomatic missions have requested the President to maintain the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and to uphold Sri Lanka’s tradition of opposition to capital punishment.

The letter has been signed by the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka, the British High Commission in Sri Lanka, the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Germany in Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Italy in Sri Lanka, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Romania in Sri Lanka, the High Commission of Canada in Sri Lanka and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka.

The Government announced last week it will implement the death penalty on repeat offenders of drug trafficking who are on death row in prison.

Officials have already identified 18 convicts who are on death row who will be taken to the gallows.

No execution have taken place in Sri Lanka since 1976 and as a result new hangmen are to be recruited for the hanging. (Colombo Gazette)


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