Lankan President says he will not sanction death penalty
Posted on August 31st, 2022

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, August 31 (PMD): Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday (August 31) through the Attorney General that he will not place his signature for the execution of the death penalty.

Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, who appeared for the Attorney General, stated this when several fundamental rights petitions filed calling for the annulment of the decision taken by former President Maithripala Sirisena in 2019 to execute four defendants sentenced to death on drug charges, were called.

The petition was called before a three-member Supreme Court bench consisting of Vijith Mallalgoda, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Mr. Murdu Fernando.

When the Attorney General inquired about this yesterday, President Ranil Wickremesinghe had informed that he will not use his signature to execute the death sentence.

Accordingly, the President had also said to inform the court about this when the relevant case is taken up in the Supreme Court.

Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, who represented the Attorney General, stated before the court that the government has taken a policy decision not to implement the death penalty.

The chairman of the bench, Justice Vijith Malalgoda informed the petitioner’s lawyers to inform the court on the next court date if that there is any need to continue this petition.

Having considered the facts presented, the bench decided to recall these petitions on February 23 next year.

Former President Maithripala Sirisena had made a statement on June 26, 2019 that he had decided to sign the execution order of four prisoners sentenced to death for drug-related offences.

Several parties including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Center for Policy Alternatives and the Organization for the Protection of Prisoners presented these fundamental rights petitions to the Supreme Court against the President’s decision.

The petitions had alleged that the then president’s decision was against the country’s public policy. Also, the petitioners submitted facts to the court that it is against international human rights principles, unjust and unfair.

Therefore, these petitions requested the court to issue an order nullifying the decision of former President Maithripala Sirisena.

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