Sri Lanka, battling to eradicate its growing narcotics problem and curb the organized crime associated with drug trade, has decided to reinstate the death penalty for drug dealers.
The government has taken a decision to implement the death sentence for drug offenders who were found guilty by the court of law.
This decision has been taken unanimously at the weekly meeting of Cabinet Ministers today, the Minister of Buddha asana Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said.
Holding a media conference this afternoon, Minister Perera said the President has given instructions to Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala to take necessary steps to implement this decision.
Although Sri Lankan courts give death penalty in serious crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking, no executions have been carried out since 1976.
Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said there were 19 drug offenders whose death sentences had been commuted to life. Local media reports quote Senaratne as saying that they would now face execution, Newsfirst Sri Lanka reported.
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena stated that he does not think that this action should be considered a crime because his motive is to create a better tomorrow for the children and the entire society.
“I do not think I will be committing a crime when I created a better tomorrow for the children and the entire society,” Sirisena said.
President Sirisena also stated that he had informed the Ministry of Justice that he would sign the order to implement capital punishment against individuals who continue to be involved in the drug trade even after being sentenced to death for offenses related to drug trafficking.
“Last evening I told the Ministry of Justice that I will sign the order to execute the death penalty on those who are serving death sentences for drug related offenses and still continue to be involved in large scale drug trafficking,” Sirisena added.
Watch the video