British Asia News Network
Sri Lanka: Maithripala Sirisena told parliament he was committed to bringing back the death penalty for drug offenders, vowing a tougher line on the out of control drug-related crime.
“I hope to carry out the first hanging within a month or two,” he said. “I appeal to Human rights organisations not to try to pressure us on this decision.”
Sri Lanka regularly gives the death sentences for murder, rape and drug-related crimes but until now their punishments have been full life terms.
Following a visit to the Philippines last month, Sirisena said he wanted to copy President Rodrigo Duterte’s Strong skills in dealing with illegal drugs.
Justice minister Thalatha Athukorale said the administrative procedures for the execution of five drug convicts had been completed and were waiting for Sirisena signature on the death warrants.
The president did not say how many would be involved in the first hangings. Authorities were still trying to fill a vacancy for a hangman, despite placing advertisements for the position last year offering a salary of 35,000 rupees ($200) a month.
Sri Lanka’s last execution was more than forty years ago, an executioner was in the post until his retirement in 2014. Three replacements have quit after short stints at the unused gallows over 4 decades due to the lack of work.