SLFP General Secretary and MP Dayasiri Jayasekara today asked why the government did not sign the moratorium on capital punishment if the UNP was against it.
"The EU presented its resolution on the moratorium on the death penalty in 2007. It calls on States that maintain the death penalty to agree to a moratorium on death penalty. By end 2014, some 114 countries had ratified the moratorium but not Sri Lanka," he said. “Why did the UNF-led yahapalana government that took office in 2015 avoid ratifying this moratorium if the UNP is against the death penalty."
The MP said capital punishment is in the statute book of the country and President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to implement it for convicts in the death row for drug-related offences.
“We have heard of big time drug mudalalis operating the drug trade while on the death row. They have targeted 4.5 million students while thousands of youths and their families have been destroyed by these drug kingpins. Therefore, the death penalty is being implemented under the doctrine of necessity,” he said. "As a Buddhist and a politician, I also don’t approve the death penalty. But the harm done by the drug mafia is unfathomable. In such a scenario, it is reasonable to carry out the death penalty on convicted drug mudalalis who ply their trade from prison. It is like destroying an unaffected house in the middle of a cluster of houses that are on fire. If not, so many other houses would catch fire."
Commenting on the FR petitions filed in the Supreme Court against the death sentence, the MP asked whose rights these petitioners protecting and asked whether convicted drug kingpins are behind the FR petitions.
Responding to a Daily Mirror journalist he said there were convicted criminals who deserve to be hanged before the drug kingpins because their crimes were more atrocious and cruel.
“Yes, I admit that the seven suspects sentenced to death in 2017 for the rape and murder of 18-year-old schoolgirl Sathiya of Punguduthive, Jaffna in May 2015 must be hanged first,” the MP said.(Sandun A Jayasekera)