While rejecting the move to reintroduce death sentence for drug smugglers, National People’s Power (NPP) presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today drug smuggling could not be done away with solely through the implementation of the death penalty.
He told a news conference that those who claimed the reintroduction of the death sentence only tried to make it a sensation for political ends.
“Today, drug smuggling has grown to alarming proportions owing to non-implementation of law on powerful and affluent individuals. None of the drug smugglers is arrested. They continue the racket with blessings of politicians,” he said, adding that no one had the right to hang another.
Responding to a query on how they could tackle the issue of a debt-ridden economy, he said the country had to face the debt burden due to the failure of not using loans on lucrative projects. “Loans were not used to build assets,” he said.
“We will utilise loans for the purposes of amassing capital assets and on technological advancement. We will not reject loans but use them on efficient projects. We have plans to evade from the debt trap by developing economic production, predominantly focusing on infrastructure,” he said.
Referring to the release of political prisoners, he said their policy was to release all political prisoners by meting out social justice.
“Several notorious LTTE activists like Kumaran Pathmanathan and Daya Master are at large while some others who have LTTE identity cards are on remand. We will introduce a new constitution under our government where all people could contribute to governance,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana)
Pix by Damith Wickramasinhge