05 November 2019 :
Sri Lanka' s Supreme Court on 29 October 2019 effectively blocked a plan by the president to bring back hangings for the first time since 1976 before he leaves office next month.
Maithripala Sirisena said in June that he had signed death warrants for four drug offenders -- mirroring the Philippines' no-holds-barred anti-narcotics drive -- alarming rights groups and the international community.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court extended on 29 October a stay order until the hearing of 15 petitions filed against Sirisena's bid.
"The bench extended the stay order till December 9," a lawyer representing civil society groups, who call hanging a "cruel and degrading", said after a brief hearing.
Sirisena is not seeking re-election and must leave office as soon as a winner is declared after the 16 November election, more than three weeks before the court resumes hearings.
There has been a moratorium on capital punishment in the Indian Ocean island nation since 1976.