EU warns Sri Lanka over death penalty

European Union (EU) member states along with government of Canada and Norway have warned Sri Lanka against ending its moratorium on capital punishment and said the island risked losing trade concessions if it went ahead.

The diplomatic missions based in Colombo wrote a letter to Sri Lankan President Maithri­pala Sirisena yesterday that they fully oppose the recent statement by him that he will reinstate the death penalty.

The missions said that they were writing to verify the worrying information in the public domain about the intention of Sri Lankan government to resume implementing the death penalty after a moratorium of more than 40 years.

They called upon 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.

Earlier,  Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission wrote to President Sirisena, urging him to reconsider imposing the death penalty. President Sirisena has said recently that he would sign required orders to execute capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations while in detention.

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