Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena said that he has signed the documents for execution of four “big time” drug operators currently convicted and awaiting death sentence. He said that the convicts and their next of kin yet to be informed. The convicts could appeal for clemency.
Addressing heads of media on Wednesday at the President’s House in Colombo, Sirisena emphasized the danger of illicit drugs. Pointing out that there are about 100,000 drug addicts in the country, Sirisena urged all sections of the society including media to extend fullest support to the government endeavors against illicit drugs.
Referring to the security situation and operations during the post-Easter Sunday attacks, Sirisena said that emergency rule has been extended for another month to facilitate continuation of investigations against arrested suspects and to continue deployment of security forces for security operations to ensure safety of the citizens. Sirisena pointed out that many embassies also sought military security. Furthermore, until the formulation of new regulations for law enforcement, it is necessary to continue with emergency laws.
“We had to declare an Emergency situation to suppress terrorists and ensure a peaceful environment in the country. What have been enacted by gazette are clauses pertaining to suppressing terrorism only,’ Sirisena said.
Replying to a question, Sirisena said that the campaigns to boycott Muslim shops would not succeed and recalled that similar campaign to shun Indian products in the past had failed. “It is very important that peace and harmony among Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil communities prevail. It is important for us to foster trust among us.”
President Sirisena said the current instability in the government was due to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and reiterated that both 18th Amendment and the 19th Amendment must be abolished, if possible before the elections or at least after the elections to ensure a smooth rule under one leader. He pointed out that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also said that there should not be two drivers for a vehicle of government.
Sirisena said he supported the 19A in 2015, because of the imperative need to restore democratic freedoms, establishment of independent commissions, individual freedoms and media freedom. Sirisena charged that the 19 A drafted by certain persons with the support from NGOs have created instability in the country.
Replying to a question, Sirisena said that he has not received any notice to appear before the Parliamentary select Committee (PSC) and said, however, he would not appear before the PSC. Sirisena charged that the PSC was a political drama enacted by certain persons.