Death penalty will hurt Sri Lanka’s reputation, human rights record, Norway says

ECONOMYNEXT – Resuming executions will damage Sri Lanka’s reputation and human rights record, Norway said in a statement issued by its embassy.

Norway said it is deeply concerned that Sri Lanka intends to implement the death penalty, which would put an end to Sri Lanka’s 43-year moratorium on the use of “this cruel and irreversible punishment.”

“Implementation of the death penalty would negatively affect Sri Lanka’s international reputation and its human rights record,” it said.

The statement came after Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who maintains executions are necessary to combat the illicit drugs trade, said he had signed death warrants of four drug dealers.

“Norway strongly opposes all use of the death penalty as a matter of principle,” the statement said.

“We believe that states have a duty to protect the safety, well-being and human rights of all their citizens.

“We have communicated our position and raised our concerns regarding this issue at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan Government, and we urge Sri Lanka to refrain from reinstating the death penalty."

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Norway noted that as recently as December 2018, Sri Lanka was one of 120 countries that voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
(COLOMBO, 28 June 18, 2019)