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Supreme Court informed of government’s policy decision on death penalty

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Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle yesterday (Aug 31), appearing on behalf of the Attorney General, informed the Supreme Court that there is no change in the government’s policy decision to not carry out the death penalty in Sri Lanka.

This was conveyed when fundamental rights (FR) petitions filed by four death row inmates, who were convicted of drug charges, challenging the decision taken by former President Maithripala Sirisena in 2019 to execute their death sentences.

The petitions seeking the revocation of the said decision were called before Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando earlier today.

Further consideration of relevant FR petitions has been fixed for February 23, 2022.

During the court proceedings, Justice Malalgoda, who presides over the bench, told the attorneys representing the petitioners to inform the court whether they wish to proceed with the hearing of the petitions.

On June 26, 2019, then-President Sirisena announced his decision to sign the execution order for four death row inmates convicted of drug charges.

In protest of the decision, the accused in question filed FR petitions, stressing that it is a violation of the government’s policy and international human rights principles.

The petitions were put forward by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Centre for Policy Alternatives, the four accused and several other parties.

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