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Executions won’t help draw tourists, investors, Canada warns Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s plans to revive executions, which the island’s president maintains is needed to fight the illicit drugs trade, is incompatible with human dignity and will not help attract tourists and investors, Canada has said.

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that Sri Lanka is considering a reversal of its long-standing moratorium on the death penalty,” a statement by the High Commission of Canada to Sri Lanka said.

It came after President Maithripala Sirisena, who advocates reviving hangings, said he had signed death warrants on four convicted drug dealers.

“The resumption of executions could attract global attention and would do little to rebuild Sri Lanka’s image as a peaceful and welcoming destination for travellers and investment,” the Canadian High Commission statement said.

“We strongly and unequivocally oppose the use of the death penalty in all cases,” it said.

“This form of punishment is incompatible with human dignity and can lead to irreversible miscarriages of justice. No justice system is immune from error.”

Canada said that while action to counter the illicit drug trade is important and necessary, there is no evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent.

“We join many Sri Lankans and friends of Sri Lanka around the world in urging the government to maintain the moratorium on the death penalty.”
(COLOMBO, 27 June, 2019)

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