"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sri Lanka reaffirms in Geneva its commitment to abolishing capital punishment

Sri Lanka flag
President under pressure to have killers of children hanged

Amidst calls for the re-implementation of the death penalty in the wake of a 5-year-old girl being sexually abused and strangled to death at Kotadeniyawa, the government of Sri Lanka has assured the international community of its intention to abolish death penalty.

Last judicial execution took place in 1976.

On behalf of the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that Sri Lanka would maintain the moratorium on the death penalty leading to its eventual abolition. Minister Samaraweera was participating in the general debate of the 30th Geneva session on Monday (Sept.14).

The assurance was in accordance with an understanding between Sri Lanka, beginning with Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's presidency and the European Union.

Villagers launched protests demanding death penalty for the perpetrators of Kotadeniyawa child killing. Some protestors demanded the guilty being hanged outside Negombo hospital where the post-mortem conducted by the Negombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) on Seya Sadewmi Bakmeedeniya of Akkarangaha, Kotadeniyawa revealed that she had been sexually abused and throttled.

Well informed sources told The Island that the EU had told successive governments that judicial executions shouldn't be resumed under any circumstance. Since the change of government in January, President Maithripala Sirisena and Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe publicly declared their readiness to resume judicial executions.

Senior university lecturer Ven. Dambara Amila urged President Maithripala Sirisena to execute at least child murderers at a state function held under the President's patronage. The appeal was made at the 151 Anagarika Dharmapala commemorations at Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya, on Monday. Ven. Amila affiliated to the JVP said that the government couldn't turn a blind eye to Kotadeniyawa killing.

The 5-year-old victim's father is also a prime suspect in the killing.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, too, refrained from resuming judicial executions though some clamoured for immediate implementation of death penalty.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on three separate occasions before the Parliamentary Elections in April 2004 announced that she would resume judicial executions though her threat was never carried out.

The pledge to implement the death penalty in the aftermath of High Court Judge Ambepitiya's assassination was the 4th instance since Parliament, in1995, adopted a private member's motion by the then PA MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra calling for the immediate implementation of capital punishment.

Pakistan lifted moratorium on death penalty in the wake of a terrorist suicide attack on a school in spite of strong objections from the EU last year. Pakistan ignored EU's demand to halt judicial executions. Pakistan suspended judicial executions in 2008.

Source: island.lk, September 16, 2015

Ranjan wants death penalty for child rapists

Social Empowerment and Welfare Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said yesterday he was taking measures to move a motion in Parliament on September 22 to urge the members to take action to implement the death penalty especially for child rapists. He said he intends to obtain instructions from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before moving the motion in Parliament.

Ramanayake said he also intends to urge to formulate laws to implement the death penalty, a matter within the judiciary.

He said he has to get instructions to decide as to how this motion be moved in Parliament. The deputy minister said however he will take steps to develop a dialogue on the matter of the increasing sexual assaults on under aged children.

He said the public are outraged at the incidents that took place in the recent past and it was time to bring about such laws to put a full stop to such grave crimes.

Ramanayake said he was planning to compel parliamentarians to take action to implement the death penalty for the convicts of heroin traffickers as well.

He added that the death penalty had been implemented even after independence.

Source: dailynews.lk, September 16, 2015

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