In what could be a major relief to the five Tamil fishermen who have been awarded death sentence by the Sri Lankan High Court on drug trafficking charges, the country’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said his country had not implemented death sentence since 1976.
Mr Wigneswaran, who was a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, said in Chennai on Monday that even though death sentence was still part of the law it had not been implemented since 1976.
He said the families of the five fishermen also met him in Chennai and had sought his intervention to cancel the death penalty. “I explained to them that death sentence was not strictly implemented in Sri Lanka,” he told reporters.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran, a Constitutional and human rights lawyer, said that in Sri Lanka, if a person possessed more than two grams of heroin he would face death sentence.
"There were instances of death sentences awarded to those involved in smuggling of narcotics. But the sentences were not implemented,” he said. (The Hindu)