President Maithripala Sirisena took umbrage at so-called human rights campaigners and certain NGOs that launched a campaign against carrying out capital punishment on convicted drug kingpins who continue to commit crimes even while on death row.
Taking part as the guest of honour at a ceremony held today at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium to felicitate and award police officers who worked tirelessly to prevent drug abuse, the President questioned as to who would protest against the blatant violation of the victims of drug abuse -- the youth, those killed by drug dealers or their agents, the police and armed forces personnel and judges who enforce the law against those engaged in drugs and narcotics.
“It is quite peculiar that a majority of those convicted drug dealers have filed petitions against their convictions after hearing my determination to hang them. I could not hold back my tears when I visited the funeral house of the late High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya in November 2014 who was gunned down in his own house following a judgment given against a top drug dealer. His 14-year-old son was weeping by embracing his father’s body. Later, I learned that Mr. Ambepitiya had only Rs.400 in his bank account when he was brutally assassinated.”
“Where were these so-called human rights campaigners and NGOs when thousands of innocent youth, fathers, brothers and sons became victims to drugs and narcotics? Who is going to talk about the families destroyed by drug dealers? I have decided to hang one or three of those on death row if they continue to commit the crime. Sadly, I am still waiting for information from the prisons authorities on death row prisoners who have been found guilty of engaging in the drug trade,” he said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)
Pix by Ishan Sanjeewa