- Clean up the Prisons Department, for, without the collaboration of Prisons Department officials, these offenders cannot continue their criminal activities
- When the decision was taken many years ago, not to execute those sentenced to death, this decision was based on the fact that nowhere in the world had murders been reduced by punishing those committing such crimes with execution.
There have been mixed reactions to the news that Sri Lanka would again carry out executions of those sentenced to death, in particular situations/circumstances.
Are we serious when we say this?
You carried this news on the front page on July 12.
We have not removed this punishment from our Statute Books, but for very good reasons, we have not carried out this punishment now for many years.
We are in that group of civilized nations, which do not take the life of any of its citizens as a punishment.
Are we now considering going back to those days when we took the lives of those sentenced to death?
We boast of being a country, where all the major religions of the world are practised. What right do we have to take the life of one of our own citizens, however, grave the crime is?
Such action is against the teachings of all our religions. These individuals will ultimately pay for these crimes, in hell or in their next birth, but we have no right to take their lives.
I was very surprised to read in the Daily Mirror on the very next day, on July 13, that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had welcomed President Sirisena’s decision to execute drug dealers who have been sentenced to death and had expressed support to that decision.
The Head of the largest Christian Church in Sri Lanka supporting executions? Unbelievable!
There was a report that the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, had also commended the decision of President Sirisena to execute drug dealers sentenced to death. I hope our President will not take too much notice of the commendations of the President of the Philippines.
When the decision was taken many years ago, not to execute those sentenced to death, this decision was based on the fact that nowhere in the world had murders been reduced by punishing those committing such crimes with execution.
While some may maintain that such convicts deserve death, there have been instances when innocents have also been executed. Such miscarriage of justice can never be redressed.
These facts were among those that led to the decision not to carry out the death penalty.
The discussion today is largely centred around those sentenced to death for drug offences. The same reasons for not executing those convicted of such offences, I believe still holds.
Will executions reduce these crimes? Aren’t there possibilities of innocents being executed on fabricated evidence?
If we take our religions seriously can we carry out executions?
We need to clean up the Prisons Department, for, without the collaboration and assistance of senior Prisons Department officials, these convicted drug offenders cannot continue their criminal activities.
Are not the Police responsible for bringing the small fry in this trade to Justice, while the big-time traders, among whom, are indeed many politicians, remain free?
Should the Government not put these right.
A major clean up is necessary.