Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana Wing) leader Mangala Samaraweera, MP, yesterday said his party was strongly opposed to the re-implementation of the death sentence. Most countries in the world had done away with the death sentence since they refused to be convinced that it could appropriately deal with underworld crimes, he said.
`If it is reintroduced, the Government would use it to hang those who raise their voice against it,` Samaraweera said.
Addressing a Press Conference at the SLFP(M) head office in Rajagiriya, he said that today the Police and Attorney General s Departments were politicised and handled by the government. The police and AG s departments were not implementing the rule of law against ruling party politicians or their relatives, he said. The law applied only to innocent civilians who represented 80 per cent of the population. In this situation, implementation of death sentence would be very dangerous, Samaraweera said.
`The Police are handled by the Rajapaksa brothers. They couldn t find the culprits of recent brutal killings, including senior journalist Lasantha Wickremethunge, MP Raviraja Nadaraj and MP T. Maheswaran. The investigations on these incidents are very slow. Drug dealers have strong connections with powerful politicians in the ruling party,` Samaraweera said.
`In Sri Lanka, the then Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake in 1928 proposed to the Legislative Council abolishment of the death sentence. Then, in 1956 Prof. G. P. Malalasekera requested it be abolished in view of the Buddha Jayanthi celebrations. In the same year, the then Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike proposed the abolition of death sentence at his very first Cabinet meeting and it was proposed in Parliament by my late father Mahanama Samaraweera, who was the Deputy Minister of Justice. It was passed in the House. But it was not passed by the Senate,` Samaraweera said.
Samaraweera said that the Government should restore the law and order situation and enforce rigorous life term sentences to combat underworld crimes.