The European Union, along with Canada and Norway, key markets for Sri Lankan exports, have said they oppose plans by the government to resume implementing the death penalty after a moratorium of more than 40 years.
“The death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible,” a joint statement said.
The statement was sent on behalf of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka, the British and Canadian High Commissions in Sri Lanka and the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania in Sri Lanka.
It said the Delegation of the European Union, the missions of the EU Member States in Sri Lanka as well as the diplomatic missions of the Governments of Canada and Norway in Sri Lanka have written to President Maithripala Sirisena.
The letter was “to verify the worrying information in the public domain about the intention of the Sri Lankan government to resume implementing the death penalty after a moratorium of more than 40 years.”
The statement by the EU delegation said: “The diplomatic missions have made known in their letter that they strongly and unequivocally oppose capital punishment in all circumstances and in all cases.
“The diplomatic missions have requested the President to maintain the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and to uphold Sri Lanka’s tradition of opposition to capital punishment.”