ECONOMYNEXT- A legislator from Sri Lanka’s United National Party said he and a colleague is sponsoring a bill for parliament to block President Maithripala Sirisena from carrying out the death penalty.
"This will be known as the Bill to Abolish the Death Penalty," Parliamentarian Bandula Lal Bandarigoda, one of the two sponsors of the bill, said.
"We have handed the bill over."
He said that the purpose of the bill is to amend any death penalty sentence into a sentence of life imprisonment.
If passed, the new law will affect both new sentencing, and those who are already serving life sentences.
In Sri Lanka, the death penalty is sentenced but carried out as life imprisonment.
However, President Maithripala Sirisena last week said that he has signed four death penalties for drug dealers.
Bandarigoda said that he is a Buddhist while his co-presenter of the bill, Parliamentarian Kavinda Jayawardena, a doctor, is a Catholic.
He said as a Buddhist, and a teacher at a Sunday School for 15-years, he is against the death penalty.
One of the Five Precepts in Buddhism is to abstain from killing.
Bandarigoda said that there are peopled getting ready criticize him, saying that he is trying to defend criminals.
Foreign governments have requested President Sirisena to not carry out the death penalty, citing that there are better ways to control the drug trade.
Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was reported saying that Sri Lanka may risk losing the preferential trade agreement GSP Plus with the European Union if the death penalty is reinstated.(Colombo/Jul05/2019)