‘Example to the world’: Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte’s war on drugs
Posted on January 18th, 2019

 South east Asia correspondent Courtesy The Guardian UK

President Maithripala Sirisena praises Philippines over policy that has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings

Protesters and residents hold lighted candles and placards at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old high school student, who was among the people shot dead last week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in Caloocan city, Metro Manila, Philippines
 Protesters march following the death of teenager Kian Loyd delos Santos, a victim of Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. Photograph: Erik de Castro/Reuters

Sri Lanka’s president has praised his Philippines counterpart Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, which has taken thousands of lives, calling it an example to the world”.

In a speech during a visit to the Philippines this week, Maithripala Sirisena said he intended to replicate Duterte’s ruthless approach to tackling illegal drug use.

The war against crime and drugs carried out by you is an example to the whole world, and personally to me,” said Sirisena. Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard.”

In his own statement, Duterte said that their aligned vision could mean partnering with Sri Lanka in the future to address international drug trafficking.

Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, which has seen police handed unprecedented powers to carry out drug-related raids and arrests, has officially killed more than 5,000 people since 2016, though campaigners allege the real death toll could be up to 20,000. Those who have died have mainly been the urban poor. The international criminal court (ICC) is carrying out a preliminary investigation into whether the extrajudicial killings constitute crimes against humanity.

Duterte has remained unrepentant about the scale of the deaths in the crackdown, saying he would promote police officers who massacre” drug dealers and describing those killed as just carcasses to me”.

The speech was not the first time Sirisena has signalled his admiration for Duterte’s war on drugs. In July, Sri Lanka ended its 43-year moratorium on executions to bring back hanging as a punishment for drug dealers, a move the Sri Lankan president said was directly inspired by Duterte’s policy in the Philippines.

During a cabinet meeting in July, Sirisena said he was ready to sign the death warrants” of repeat drug offenders, according to his spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne. Nineteen drug offenders who were serving life sentences now face the death penalty.

The Sri Lankan government says narcotics are a growing problem in the country and in January this year, authorities seized a cocaine stash worth $108m from a single shipment in the port of Colombo, which is a growing hub for international drug trafficking.

We were told that the Philippines has been successful in deploying the army and dealing with this problem,” said Senaratne in July. We will try to replicate their success.

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3 Responses to “‘Example to the world’: Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte’s war on drugs”

  1. Christie Says:

    First Guardian UK a paper that get money from Indians and is pro Indian.

    How could Sirisena wipe out drugs when most of the money for SLFP and other Socialists has been coming from local drug dealers who are Indian Colonial Parasites.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Sirisena will not do any of these. He promised death penalty to drug dealers but nothing has happened so far.
    Drug dealers are above the law because they are venerated and protected by politicians.

  3. ranjit Says:

    Dilrook is 100% correct. Most of the crooked politicians in the current parliament lives and socialize with drug lords and underworld kingpins and they do not want to stop this menace at all. Sirisena is only a talking president. He maybe a good guy in some matters but definitely he is not fit for the president post. We should not be foolish to appoint him again as our president. I hope Mahinda will not do a foolish thing like that to suggest his name for presidency and Sirisena too must know that he is not popular among the voters like Rajapaksas.
    We don’t need Duterte’s or anybody’s advice to get rid of drug lords or the underworld? We need a gutty fearless leadership like Rajapaksas to stop these mafias. Gota and Mahinda both showed the country and the world that they have the guts to stop any danger to our homeland by ending the brutal war and the underworld for some extent. Same thing can be done if our leaders are strong and have the willpower. First Ranil and the forty thives must be sent home and a new set of rulers must come who can deliver the goods and make our country great again. Be wise and select the best. Long live Sri Lanka my homeland.

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