Maithri ‘corrects’ Mangala on death penalty
Posted on September 19th, 2015

By Sandun Jayawardana Courtesy The Nation

President Maithripala Sirisena has ‘corrected’ his Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement made to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) regarding the Sri Lankan Government’s stance on the death penalty.

Speaking at an official function in Galle on Friday (September 18), the President pledged to implement the death penalty from next year provided he obtained Parliamentary approval. President Sirisena cited the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in Kotadeniyawa as the most recent example of a series of violent crimes and noted it had reignited calls within society to re-implement capital punishment.

While Sri Lanka has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1977, it has not been abolished by law. As such, the death penalty can be re-implemented if the President signed the order. Addressing the gathering, President Sirisena went onto state that while he could in fact, implement the death penalty using his executive powers, he would prefer to obtain Parliamentary approval before doing so.

However, President Sirisena’s pronouncement contradicted the statement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera to the UNHRC in Geneva only four days before. In his address to the 30th Session of the UNHRC last Monday (September 14), Minister Samaraweera claimed that the Government of Sri Lanka was committed to maintaining the moratorium on the death penalty ‘with a view to its ultimate abolition.’ This was generally accepted as being the government’s official position.

Speaking with editors of newspapers and heads of media institutions on Friday evening, where Minister Samaraweera was also present, the President had stated that any move at lifting the moratorium on the death penalty would be subject to Parliamentary approval. However, he had again noted the growing calls for the re-implementation of capital punishment and stressed he was seriously considering the matter.

In July, the Department of Prisons also advertised to fill the two vacant posts of hangmen. In late August, the department stated it had received 13 applications in response. At the time, the Prisons Department said it expected to fill the two vacant posts by the beginning of November.

3 Responses to “Maithri ‘corrects’ Mangala on death penalty”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    This Mangala fool has no brains.

    SL NEEDS the DEATH PENALTY very badly.

    I support ANYONE who brings the DEATH PENALTY and CHEMICAL CASTRATION to those who harm children.

    The BARBARIANS who killed that 5 year old child deserves to be punished the SAME WAY. Tit for tat.

    IF the fools who OPPOSE death penalty can keep these criminals at their HOME, then they should be spared death penalty. Heaven awaits them!

  2. Kumari Says:

    This is only the beginning. When the backstabber utters these we have to read between the lines. If this little girl’s death happened before an election, for sure a Rajapakse would be involved in that. These story tellers have said so many stories.

    They connected the Rugby players death too to Rajapakse’s. When the police records said he dropped one friend at 11:50pm another at 11:55pm and then the accident happened around mid-night (as per two phone calls received by emergency services soon after mid-night, second call at 12:02am about the accident and the fire). Also the girl in question has never met Thajudeen. Still, the media hid the facts and manufactured stories implicating a Rajapakse. The former Deputy Minister of Justice, Sujeewa Senasinghe made public statements as to how this young man was tortured. They went to the extent of Exhuming the body against the wishes of the family members of the departed (just to mislead the public at the elections).

    This law is only to eliminate political opponents. Ranil has a history for this. The three judge panel recommended removing civic rights of Batalanda murderer the current PM of Sri Lanka. Why wasn’t this moratorium not removed to root out terrorism? Is it because terrorists have more rights than those who love their mother land?

    Reader, Don’t fall to this trap.

  3. nilwala Says:

    This is a step BACK from the progressive stance of the GoSL. This “eye for and eye, and tooth for a tooth” is such a fundamentally primitive concept that I am appalled that people in these columns are so supportive of it. Any enlightened society would recognize that there is some responsibility of society itself in the development of criminal behavior in its members. Few humans are born with criminal minds…they are fashioned into becoming criminals through the way society has impacted on their psychology.
    Even in Christian countries there are strong moves to do away with the Death Penalty…but here is a Buddhist country wherein a government self-labels itself as “Yahapalana” and “compassionate”, now attempting to introduce it! That several people put to death in the USA were later found to have been innocent via DNA testing shows the utter injustice and brutality of this form of punishment.
    Life imprisonment should be the answer….and special Meditation and other mind stabilizing and behavior modification techniques should be used to rehabilitate these criminals instead of reinstating the Death Penalty. They are working in Indian prisons. We are a Buddhist country and should know better than to follow the route of the Abrahamic religions.
    Hasn’t there been enough killing in this island????

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