SRI LANKA: HRC RECOMMENDS ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
January 4, 2016: The Human Rights Commission in a letter to the President recommended the abolition of the death penalty in Sri Lanka.
The Commission in the letter, states that death penalty in Sri Lanka should be abolished in keeping with Sri Lanka's commitment to a more humane society consonant with human rights, principles and values.
"In terms of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act No. 2L of 1996, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is required by Section 10 (c) and 10(d) of the said Act, among other things, to advise and assist the government in formulating legislation and administrative directives and procedures in furtherance of the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and to make recommendations to the government regarding measures which should be taken to ensure that national laws and administrative practices are in accordance with international human rights norms and standards," the commission observed in the statement.
The Commission states that the death penalty seriously violates several human rights including
the right to life and freedom from cruel and inhuman punishment is an extreme and irreversible
punishment and is ineffective as a deterrent to crime.
It added that Sri Lanka should demonstrate its commitment to the sanctity of life and fundamental human rights principles by joining the more than 100 nations in the world that have abolished the death penalty thus far.
The letter states that another 60 countries do not carry out death sentences in practice.
The commission further notes that the international human rights obligations of Sri Lanka clearly discourage the death penalty.
The letter draws attention to Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the sanctity of human life by affirming that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person whilst Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights strongly suggests that abolition of the death penalty is desirable".
The letter also draws attention to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly by resolution 441728 of December 15, 1989 which calls for the abolition of the death penalty. (Sources: dailynews.lk, 05/01/2016)