SRI LANKA: FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS ON LEADERS TO HAVE COURAGE TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
|Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera
June 22, 2016: Delivering the opening address at the first plenary session of Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty on "Progress and set-backs in Asia: lessons to be learnt", Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the vast majority of his colleagues in Parliament find the death penalty morally repugnant and are aware of its ineffectiveness but they fear the knee-jerk reaction of uninformed public opinion.
"Therefore, the common challenge facing us today is persuading our respective people and perhaps even more importantly having the collective courage to lead by acting," Minister Samaraweera said.
Minister Samaraweera confirmed that Sri Lanka's Minister of Justice had informed Parliament that Sri Lanka would return to its traditional position of voting in favour of the UN Resolution on a Death Penalty Moratorium as it did in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and, more importantly, continuing the four decades long de facto moratorium.
He said that abolishing the death penalty requires persuasion and resolve but above all it requires leadership â the collective leadership of legislators, activists, editors, academics and judges. "As momentum towards critical mass develops, I am confident that the coming years will see the death of the death penalty in our region," the Minister concluded. (Sources: colombopage.com, 23/06/2016)