Bill to abolish death penalty illegal: President

Tuesday, 6 August 2019 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says AG informed him Private Member’s Bill presented to P’ment by UNP MP not legal


President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said the Attorney General has informed him that the Bill to abolish the death penalty presented to Parliament last week as a Private Member’s Motion is not legal. 

President Sirisena, touching briefly on the subject, also reiterated that drug dealers, criminals and rapists are the happiest segments of society when voices are raised against the anti-drug effort, and emphasised they should not be allowed to achieve their objectives under any circumstances, the President’s Media Division said on Monday.  He made these statements while addressing the closing ceremony of the “Let’s Stand for the Country” Gampaha District program held at the Divulapitiya Public Playground.

United National Party (UNP) MP Bandula Lal Bandarigoda last Thursday presented his Private Members’ Bill to abolish the death penalty in Parliament, countering President Maithripala Sirisena’s push to remove the moratorium on the death penalty in Sri Lanka.  

MP Bandarigoda, who was granted leave to present the Bill in Parliament, moved the Bill that challenges President Maithripala Sirisena’s efforts to execute four prisoners on the death row before the end of his term. MP Bandarigoda’s Bill proposes that Parliament convert capital punishment into life imprisonment.

The Bill, titled “Abolition of Death Penalty Act”, proposes any reference in any law to the imposition of the death penalty or punishment by death, from and after the coming of the Act, be construed as punishment by imprisonment for life.

At the same ceremony, the President also said that some Ministers in the present Government too, are involved in the environmental destruction of Muthurajawela, which is a valuable asset of the Gampaha District.

The President made these statements at the “Let’s Stand for the Country” program which is currently being carried out in the Gampaha District, where it was successfully implemented across 13 Divisional Secretariats throughout six days. Rs. 123 million has been spent for 4000 programs which were implemented for the benefit of the public.

In accordance with the instructions and guidance of President Sirisena, the Presidential Secretariat commenced the program of Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu (Let’s stand together for the country) with the aim of monitoring the implementation of national development projects such as Grama Shakthi National Program, National Drug Prevention Program, Protect Children National Program, National Chronic Kidney Prevention Program, National Food Production Program, and Environment Protection Program, and special development projects and various programs implemented by the different Ministries, to ensure that they are implemented efficiently and productively for the benefit of the public.

This program will also help to identify the public issues already identified by the Government institutions, and work to solve these issues with maximum efficiency through the State mechanism.

Accordingly, these programs will address the difficulties faced by the people under the Grama Shakthi, National Chronic Kidney Prevention Program, Dengue Prevention Program, Food Production and Nutrition Program, Drug Prevention Program, Protect Children National Program, Smart Sri Lanka, and Environment Protection Program, the main national programs implemented by the Presidential Secretariat.

A number of benefits were distributed to the people of Gampaha District, including issuing certificates of ‘Gama Rekuma’ organisation registration, Enterprise Sri Lanka Diriya Credit Grants, Donations to Farmers’ Pension pass book of Agricultural and Agrarian Board, the credit grants of Agrarian Development Department Project, donation of school equipment to the Protect Children Program, Grants to the Art Institute, donation of self-employment kits, Ranaviru Seva Authority being awarded full housing benefits. Several more programs were also implemented.

The President also presented to Gampaha District Secretary Sunil Jayalath the funds provided by the Presidential Secretariat for the implementation of six water conservation projects under the guidance of the Land Use Department under the Rehabilitation and Environmental Protection National Program.