Petitions against reactivating death penalty: SC issues notice to former President Sirisena

Sri Lanka Former President Maithripala Sirisena

The Supreme Court yesterday (10), noticed former President Maithripala Sirisena to appear before it on 26 May next year and make submissions as to on what conditions he had decided to reactivate the death penalty.

The notice on the former President was issued by a three-Judge Bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Gamini Amarasekara, after having considered 11 petitions that had been filed against the reactivation of capital punishment by Sirisena.

The petitions had been filed by several organisations, including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), while President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena made submissions on behalf of the petitioners.

Jayawardena said, though it is accepted that to any person who has committed any serious offence, punishments should be handed down based on the severity of the offence, such punishments should not take the life out of any person.
He told Court that the reactivation of capital punishment in a civilised society like Sri Lanka will never be accepted and hence it should not be allowed to be reactivated under any circumstance.

He further said, even the majority of lawyers here were totally against the reactivation of the death penalty and that it was due to this reason that the BASL had deemed it one of its duties to file a petition opposing its re-enactment.
Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the former President.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Kamal Mahendra Weeraratna)