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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2835

Global Tamil Forum Exhorts Sri Lankan government To Disdain From Resuming Execution

Quotes:The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), an organization of expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils says that it is appalled at the reports that Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the execution of four drug offenders, claiming it would end increasing addiction problems in the country.End of Quotes

The GTF also states that, “Death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment, which is neither morally defensible nor can be backed up by evidence to have had any notable effect on deterring abhorrent crimes, including drug-related offenses.”

Furthermore, GTF has announced it fully concurs that drug abuse is a menace in the society and every possible step needs to be taken to root out drug trafficking. It adds, but without taking concerted efforts on policing and law enforcement, resorting to capital punishment as the magic bullet to the drug problem cannot be justified. Further, in a country where judicial independence and capacity is hotly disputed, the risk of miscarriage of justice and wrongful execution of an innocent person will be unacceptably high.

The GTF points out, that in case Sri Lanka reintroducing death penalty will be joining a shrinking minority of states that persist with this barbaric practice. This arbitrary action by President Sirisena violates Sri Lanka’s international commitments - the country voted in favour of a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty at the UN General Assembly just six months ago.

Quotes:GTF is deeply concerned that the desire to resume executions - after a period of 43 years of moratorium - fits into an emerging pattern in the country where toying with extreme ideas, disregarding solemn international pledges and resorting to unprincipled actions for political expedience are becoming a common practice and acceptable.End of Quotes

The press release issued by the Global Tamil Forum also announced -

“Sri Lanka is yet to come to terms with its horrendous past where thousands of what is viewed as officially sanctioned illegal executions were a common occurrence. For a society that is desensitized to such atrocious crimes, reintroducing legal executions may not appear particularly troubling. And it is for this reason that political, civil society and religious leaders should provide firm and principled guidance in opposing this short-sighted policy reversal by the President.

Resuming death penalty could also be exploited by Sinhala hard-line elements opposed to war time accountability and reconciliation, by claiming that their war heroes could be sent to the gallows if there were domestic special tribunals as called for by the UNHRC resolution 30/1.

We welcome the strong statements of concern from UK, EU, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and the UN, which clearly articulate potential fallout, including future security and law enforcement cooperation, continuation of GSP+ trade concessions, and impacts on tourism and investment. We call upon all countries with influence on Sri Lanka to raise their concerns immediately and forcefully at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan government to stop the impending executions.

GTF views this unfortunate development as a seriously regressive step with potential to impede transformation of Sri Lanka from a conflict-ridden, violent-prone country into a modern, decent and humane society, and call on President Sirisena to back away from his ill-conceived decision,” The press release concludes.

- Asian Tribune -

Global Tamil Forum Exhorts Sri Lankan government To Disdain  From Resuming Execution
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