21 September, 2020

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ICJ Calls On Sirisena To Retract Pronouncements On Resuming Execution

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has called on Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, to retract his recent pronouncement that executions would resume in the country notwithstanding a moratorium on capital punishment that has lasted 43 years. The last execution was carried out in Sri Lanka in 1976.

Sirisena

“Resuming executions would be an egregious violation of Sri Lanka’s obligations under international human rights law, a serious threat to human rights in the country, and it would be inconsistent with the global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific Director.

Speaking in Parliament last week, President Sirisena vowed to resume executions of those convicted of “drug offences” as early as within the next two months.The ICJ considers any resumption of executions in Sri Lanka as constituting a violation of international law and an appalling disregard for the international human rights system as a whole.“At least 150 countries have now either abolished the death penalty or instituted an official or unofficial moratorium. There is a growing understanding around the world that the death penalty is an unacceptable assault on rights and dignity,” Fredrick Rawski added.The ICJ opposes the death penalty in all circumstances – as it constitutes a violation of the right to life and its imposition constitutes per se cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment.The Human Rights Committee, the Treaty Body supervising the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), by which Sri Lanka is bound, has recently made clear in its General Comment 36 on Right to life that, “it is contrary to the object and purpose of Article 6 [of the ICCPR, which enshrines the right to life] for States parties to take steps to increase de facto the rate and extent in which they resort to the death penalty”, and that, “States parties that are not yet totally abolitionist should be on an irrevocable path towards complete eradication of the death penalty, de facto and de jure, in the foreseeable future. The death penalty cannot be reconciled with full respect for the right to life, and abolition of the death penalty is both desirable and necessary for the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights.”

Moreover, the UN Human Rights Committee has made it clear that the imposition of the death penalty for “drug offenses” is incompatible with the Covenant.

The UN General Assembly has adopted repeated resolutions, most recently in December 2018, by overwhelming majority in calling for all retentionist States to observe a an immediate moratorium with a view to abolition.

It must be noted that Sri Lanka voted in favor of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the 2018 UN GA Resolution. This commitment should not be reversed, but upheld in practice instead, the ICJ says.

The ICJ calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to reject the resumption of executions and to do away with the death penalty once and for all. Instead of planning on resuming executions, the Sri Lankan authorities should focus on effective, evidence-based approaches to crime prevention in manners that conform to international human rights law and standards, such as formulating policies and legislation that address the underlying social and economic causes of criminality, which are also vital to ensuring stability and the rule of law.

The ICJ also urges Sri Lanka to immediately ratify the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obligates State Parties to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    11

    WHY NOT THIS DO GOODY ICJ GO FTER THE USA (THE AXIS OF EVIL) WHO HAS THE DEATH PENALTY.
    JUST AFTER THE SMALL COUNTRIES

    • 15
      2

      Why not ICJ call on India, United States (california) and China – that are known as the states continue the execution for ages ?
      .
      Not just for drug dealers/peddlers, but all that have commited high crimes going by money laundering acts as revealing today – should be BEHEADED by bringing them all to Galle face green. This can then as a shock therapy, work for youth to be away from such crimes.
      :
      If SILLYSENA would think that BRINGIN GALLOW would be the only solution, while him being fallen back to the LAP of MOST ABUSIVE man of the nation, none other than Mafia boss, he is there fully wrong. We dont need Dutertes in this country, but atleast an independent system to punish HIGH PROFILE criminals (Rajakashes led groups) would be more than enough.
      :
      Execution cant stop the RAJAPKASHES, since there are masses today, that go after them, not by using head but their muscles.
      :
      The god father of TODAY s crimes – MAHINDA JARAPASHES should be given the biggest punishment, if this nation to be away from HIGH crimes

    • 2
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      gamith

      agree with you.ICJ only tries to bully small countries like us.They can f…. off.They have to be told in no uncertain terms that we are no longer ruled by anyone and how we choose to govern ourselves will be dictated to us by only our people.The citizens overwhelmingly support the death penalty for heinous crimes.ICJ should not therefore poke its nose into governance systems of individual countries which will differ from country to country according to its citizens wishes and not act like a colonial power.

  • 9
    0

    Sirisena wants the death penalty for “drug” offences.
    Already there is a ‘life sentence’ for such offences – Judge Sarath Ambepitiya pronounced ‘life imprisonment’ long ago for a young mother/ widow for possession of 30 mg. of heroin.
    The judge and his bodyguard were shot dead by drug dealer Naufer soon after.

    When Naufer was indicted, only one lawyer stood up in court and said that he appears for the accused – he was hooted by all the lawyers who were present in court.
    President CBK visited the judge’s widow and handed over Rs. Five Million as “compensation”. Life imprisonment may be worse than execution.

  • 3
    8

    Ha ha ha, there are many NGOs to protect the rights of drug lords, terrorists and murderers. But they never talk about the human rights of the victims of such crimes.
    Seriously, when Prabhakaran and his ruthless terrorists executed civilians in cold blood for 30 years, where was the International Commission of Jurists?
    Sri Lanka is NOT a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and no NGO can force us to “IMMEDIATELY RATIFY” the convention according to their whims and fancies.
    Sri Lankan President is not under obligation to accede to the request by International Commission of Jurists, which is an NGO.
    I am against executing people. But if the President wants to go ahead with his battle against drug kingpins, he will go ahead, irrespective of the undue interference of NGOs like, International Commission of Jurists.

    • 1
      1

      In the two JVP insurrections, many thousands were ‘executed’, including Buddhist priests, human rights lawyers and university dons.
      No one was tried in courts.
      Most ‘executioners’ were promoted and retired from top rungs of the military and police.

      • 1
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        justice
        Yeah, because Chandrika swept the Batalanda Commission Report under the carpet. So the suspect is still at large.

  • 4
    2

    To distract the attention of the impoverished Filipinos, Duterte came up with his way of eliminating the drug menace. The whole world found the blood thirsty Frankenstein in Duterte. All but?
    Speaking in Parliament last week, President Sirisena vowed to resume executions of those convicted of ‘drug offences’ as early as within the next two months.
    ICJ has esoteric reasons against capital punishment.
    Buddhism 101 is “Thou may not take away lives”
    Most important of all is the common knowledge that convictions can be bought and sold. For every narcotic haul intercepted, several go undetected. How many drug barons have been prosecuted?
    Is MS distracting us? If so why?

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] writing in capital letters are discouraged -CT

  • 1
    1

    ICJ: Why not support “GALLOWS” for all those “Politicians” who violate the Constitution of the country? That is “TREASON”. Also all those in POWER who have and are “ROBBING” the “Peoples’ Tax Money? You may be thinking that these “Drug Barons” could be “Rehabilitated”. Fair enough. But, those TOW categories, I mentioned above, have for the last decades not being able to be “REHABILITATED”, instead, they have become “INCORRIGIBLE “. Don’t you think, you too have to CHANGE to address the issues in a more practical manner to deliver us a more safe life? Please don’t fight against, if and when the PEOPLE decide to impose that punishment, you now object to, on the two categories of CRIMINALS, I referred to above. Thank you in advance.

  • 0
    1

    “Resuming execution would be an egregious violation of SL’s obligations under international human rights law”

    Well, Sri Lanka & many other countries have that obligation; not to execute human beings.

    But the problem is when non-human beings in human guise engage in dangerous business like drug dealing & reconvicted on the same crime, what’s left to be done other than executing?

    President Sirisena is right.

    Beware of those in the guise of HR protectors to protect non-human drug dealers.

  • 1
    0

    President Sirisena should be doing the right thing for Sri Lanka that matters most to Sri Lankans and not to please those who cry for criminal souls that is ruining Sri Lanka; especially the drug dealers and corrupt politicians who are behind the drug trade and other crimes.

    Why cannot or don’t these outfits protest about the United States of America that mandates and carries out the capital punishment on various ways – like by hanging, electrocution, firing squad, gas chamber??? Then those many other countries around the world that the capital punishment as well.

    In Sri Lanka, the capital punishment has always been in effect but not carried out for many years. It is only a a matter to start imposing as a deterrent to save the country from becoming a state of crimes and save Sri Lanka from drug addicts. Therefore there is a dire need to have the process going again.

  • 0
    0

    Everyone in politics knows the importance of bargaining and importance of being popular all of a sudden. I can’t expect MY3 to be any different. It is well known even before the current drug affair, MY3 wanted to implement his retentionist policies. At that time RW, knowing the International implications, finally pleaded with him and agreement was reached to refer the matter to Parliament. Accordingly, a resolution was introduced in Parliament by Ms. Premachandra and it was held in abeyance. It was surmised that the purpose of re-introduction of executions was not for the ideological or practical reasons, but on the strong belief that the Thajudeen case will result in the pronouncement of the capital punishment of some MR child and thereby expecting MR would come begging to MY3. Now the story is different. If capital punishment is re-introduced for sentenced drug dealers, it also provides means of sucking some money from the relatives of the condemned. That view is fortified by the premise that many politicians have been financed by drug dealers. Further the first in the list in Sri Lanka is a Pakistani and HE “reluctant” to sign the death warrant for foreigners. Why? No opportunity to make a deal. We take the trouble to recruit hangmen but they either leave the job in no time or get promoted. However, this drama has increased the standing of MY3 in the eyes of the ordinary man. If so, another objective of the politician is achieved. In fact, the opposition by the International bodies to MY3 plans threatening to cripple Sri Lanka serves MY3’s interests as well. He can always turn around and say I tried to do something but the powers that may be prevent me but in reality it is only when deals are through.

  • 1
    0

    The USA executes people t Federal Level and at State level too. They are condo the world leaders in Christian morality and liberal human rights, if you listen to what their diplomats say and preach. Oklahoma City bombing terrorist suspect Timothy McVeigh is an exam of a terrorist put to death at Federal level. Sri Lanka can execute Tamil tiger terrorists who murdered innocents and leaders like Kadirgamar and Neekan Tiruchelvam, and rapist murderers and big drug kingpins. USA will support Sri Lanka, and so will Russia and China. That’s all that matters.

  • 1
    2

    I thought SL is governed by Buddhist principals but apparently I am wrong because one of the five precepts of Buddhism (which all Buddhists pledge before any sermon or as a daily prayer) is ‘I shall not kill’. The maha sanga are silent on this, as the thousands of so called Buddhist who make this pledge every day. Apart from the Buddhist principal, in this 21st century, we are more educated & knowledgeable about the historical barbaric practices & grave miscarriage of justice even not so long ago where many innocent people have been executed in the name of law. Whether one believes in god or not, what gives right for a mortal to take another life, irrespective of the crime committed? Certainly, a legitimate court of law can punish a wrong doer with prison sentence but by condemning a person to death, isn’t the judge playing god as to who should live & who shouldn’t?
    In SL particularly, it is widely accepted the police & the judicial services are corrupt. Therefore, many innocent people are likely to be framed while the real perpetrators will continue with their luxurious life style from their ill gotten gains. A few years ago, the son of a rich thug with political connections was involved in a fatal accident. The incident would have been shoved under the carpet if not for the fact that the victim’s farther was a judge who pressured the police to find the hit & run driver, Eventually the driver of the thug surrendered to the police but according to eye witnesses, it was a youngster (presumed to be the thug’s underage son) who was at the wheel. Whether it was poverty or intimidation, an innocent man was sacrificed. What is to say that this will not happen again & again but only this time it would be a life, not a few years behind bars.

    • 1
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      Raj-UK
      Sri Lanka is not governed by Buddhist principles.
      Even if someone does, 30% of the population are non-Buddhists.
      Also, murderers, drug barons and terrorists have no religion. So we have to add another 1% to the 30%.
      As far as I know, Buddhists don’t run butcheries or engage in fishing.

  • 1
    0

    Go to hell with ICJ. USA are the world leaders in executions besides their allies like Saudi Arabia. Also Russia and China execute people. All 3 nations will back Sri Lanka. USA sometimes executes innocent people too. So Go ahead and execute terrorists and drug lords and rape murderers.

    • 0
      0

      Thassim Nana

      whatsthisthen? ‘USA sometimes executes innocent people too.’

      Haven’t you heard? Sri Lanka has done too…….
      Lasantha, Thaju, Richard De, …..without a trial!

  • 1
    0

    Prevention of drugs being smuggled into the country is the most effective counter measure, and for this, customs should not be interfered with.
    Execution of drug smugglers too, will be avoided.
    Ms. Charles should be retained in the top post.

    • 0
      0

      Dont you know that Ms Charles is reinstated two weeks ago ? And futher steps were about to be taken, but it was interpreted by Pro-Rajaakshe media as if it was something against the female officer. Lanken media mafia is run by Rajakshe goons. No doubt about that. See, ho wthey bring news today, as if Gotabaya the nation s multimurderer may have special powers to be away from not being arrested. Alone the statemetns he just drops to the media are sufficient him to be kept in jail as is the case with for example that CID officer and several other men that are already in remand.
      :
      Until not just bringing gallow back, all others steps should be taken to control drugs in the cities where the most cases are found. And CID should introduce a speical unit for drug control. And the addicts should be sent to Rehabs.. more rehabs should also be introduced. Then only at least some progress can be expected. All is in half way done in our republic should be stopped today.

  • 1
    0

    nothing to worry about
    sira has always been a talker not a doer

  • 0
    1

    Under Good Governance, the perfect judiciary will ensure only the guilty are executed.

    We are still waiting.

  • 0
    2

    I hear there are supporters of Madush inside the parliament. Ask Ranjan Ramanayaka whether he is looking for just publicity or or he can reveal some name. Remember, there was a gun fight inside PENTHOUSE RAVI’s election meeting. Narcotic dealers who came recently from overseas began shooting each other to gain the territory. Some of the politicians MAdush like people are anti-Drug dealer infront of the media and the people. I heard a few months ago many files of Drug dealer prosecutions were missing from the justice ministry building and other places.
    I heard 12 high profile lawyers are helping MAdush in Dubai to win the case. ICJ is a French NGO and I heard they support even the HUMAN RIGHT Organization of A ROOF FOR EVERYBODY”. anyway, Charity is common among Drug Barons. Even Colombia and Mexico like countries villagers like Drug BArons because they support the poor and poor (not like our poor politicians) hide and neglect the activities and gun fights
    PResident should get rid of those Drug lords. Better if he can get rid of some politicians too. CID if responsible should question Ranjan Ramanayake ( I am pretty sire CID knows who help drug barons).
    Here they give free drug samples to people via addicts to get addicted to it.

    • 2
      0

      @JDL: I hear there are supporters of Madush inside the parliament.

      TFN: you appear to be hearing a lot of voices in that tiny head of yours. I ‘hear’ they are treating folks like you at Angoda. Have you thought of going there?

  • 0
    0

    PResident should bring legislation to catch drug dealers in the parliament by bringing anti-money laundering legislation to catch drug dealers. Other wise, PResident’s work become just ELECTION WORK. There are many open cases that whole families related to drug addicted politicians were destroyed. It is certain NIROSHAN PREMARATHNE is connected to every thing related to Drugs.
    I think the parliament is full of drug dealers and drug addicted. ASK CID to reveal those names.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    International Jurists, International LAwyers and INGOs of everything INTERNATIONAL are All FRANCE funded INGOs. Iam wondering whether FRANCe is engaging in Destabilizing other countries.

  • 1
    0

    Why don’t ICJ ask Druglords to stop killing those who do not pay dues in drug deals.

  • 0
    0

    Mr. President, Please be honest and fair, you very well know who the Drug Lords in our country are, they are non other than the Politicians themselves past and present who are hand in glove with you and the PM. in fact the entire Govt. machinery appears to be supported directly or indirectly by these unlawful criminal elements. This is the message we get from the type of governance in our country. Do you and the PM have the courage and honesty to bring these criminals before the Law?. Remember this is the pledge you made to the people , but what we clearly see is you are mainly interested in your selves, your families and friends in a bid to come back to power by hook or by crook. Before you hang these criminals, take immediate action to round up the kingpins and the political cohorts involved in this drug menace. If you have the courage to do that, you will be able to rid the country of this great evil. it would be far better than officially killing people.

  • 0
    0

    ICJ is EUROPEAN UNION OWNED. EU also wants to become one like the USA. They are competing. So, that is why ICJ says Drug dealers have human rights but parents who suffer because of their drug addicted children or families whose members getting killed because of DRUG TURF WAR do not have human rights. I do not know wheter a big Drug baron and Some rich lawyers lobbied the EU govt. OR may be EU Is also DRUGS-GUN-and Diplomacy to undermine poor countries. ICJ is the agent.

  • 0
    0

    The executions should consider drug and assassinations too. All the crimes/killings/assassinations/treason/treachery since 1970 to be investigated from North to South and East to West and any surviving killers/plotters globally to be brought to the ropes in SL.

    ICJ can focus their work on US and other countries have executions to keep them entertained.

    Drugs issues need a special narcotics squad to wipe out the menace without wasting tax payers money and court time. No questions asked. We need a a very effective/heavily armed coast guard to protect SL from poaching of fish stocks to pollution of seas from passing traffic.If the respective countries navy is inadequate then we may need powers eliminate this menace too because is our bread and butter being stolen.

    This is a discussion for the patriotic citizens of SL and not for countries who have trained/armed/drugged our children in their soils and sold arms to the GOSL at the same time. There has to be an investigation on this crime agonies SL taken to International Courts and all the global loving NGO’s can turn up to help SL convict all the foreign scums who screwed us over collectively for the past 40 years and compensate us as required.

    There should be a National security act that makes people disappear when they say any racist things/separatism/devolution/religious s***/language s*** just as in Malaysia. We do not need state of emergency ever after this as NSA will take care of the undesirables evoparate amazingly fast into thin air.

    A finger printed IC just like in Malaysia for all will bring justice faster than all other initiatives.

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