Tuesday June 18, 2019

Sri Lanka should not implement the death penalty: EU

Apr 08, 2019 11:40 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

EU: 500 million people -28 countries  

ECONOMYNEXT- The European Union (EU) Delegation, along with 10 other resident diplomatic missions have called on Sri Lanka to halt the implementation of the death penalty as an anti-drug policy.

"The Government of Sri Lanka has recently taken measures towards resuming executions and bringing an end to Sri Lanka's 43-year moratorium on the death penalty as part of its stepped up anti-drug policy," a joint statement said.

"While acknowledging that combatting the proliferation of drugs is a serious challenge for countries around the world, and that action to counter the illicit drug trade is important and necessary, the evidence does not support the argument that the death penalty is an effective deterrent," it said.

"We are ready to share our experiences in addressing the threat posed by drugs."

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has been pushing for the death penalty for drug-related offences since 2018.

Sirisena has praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, which has led to the death of thousands in the South East Asian state.

Sri Lanka is currently seeking to fill the executioner position.

The EU delegation was joined by the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Norway and Switzerland and the High Commissions of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia in appealing against Sri Lanka's death penalty moves.

"More than two-thirds of countries around the world, with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practise it," the joint statement said.

"The death penalty is an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."

"We call on the Sri Lankan Government to maintain its moratorium on the death penalty in line with its vote at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in December 2018."

The EU has also given preferential trade benefits under GSP Plus to Sri Lanka.

In 2017 the EU was Sri Lanka's leading export market, taking in 29.1 percent of total exports.

Although the EU has so far officially refrained from directly linking the resumption of the death penalty to the loss of GSP Plus, analysts warn of the possibility.
Sri Lanka lost the trade facility in 2010 over allegations of human rights abuses during a 25-year civil war, and regained GSP Plus in mid-May 2017, following lobbying made by the current government. (Colombo/Apr08/2019)


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