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Convicted murderer on death row sworn in at Sri Lanka's parliament

Premalal Jayasekara, a Sri Lankan politician who is currently on death row for murder, took his oath as a Member of Parliament earlier today.

The politician from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), was convicted of murdering an opposition activist after opening fire at a 2015 election rally, just days nominations for the parliamentary polls had closed in August. As such, he was allowed to contest and won his seat. 

Opposition parliamentarians wore black scarves as a sign of protest as Jayasekara entered parliament earlier today, having been escorted directly from prison. Jayasekara has been a Sri Lankan parliamentarian since 2001.

Though he is the first convicted murdered to be elected as a parliamentarian, former Sri Lankan politicians and military personnel who stand accused of war crimes continue to occupy senior government positions, including the current president and prime minister.

 

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