Sri Lanka leader asks rights groups not to oppose executions

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president has urged human rights groups not to stand in the way of his plans to execute drug traffickers and other criminals in the coming months, ending a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment.

Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament on Wednesday that executions will resume in the next two months.

He said many larger nations carry out executions but smaller countries like Sri Lanka are hampered by human rights groups in their efforts to control crime.

Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, which teaches non-violence. It last executed a prisoner in 1976.

Sirisena said while the country has had positive influences from all religions, tough law enforcement is necessary to curb crime and maintain order.

Recent large seizures of narcotics have raised suspicions that the country has become a smuggling hub.

Categories: International News