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Death penalty will make UK reconsider security engagement with Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s implementation of the death penalty will cause the UK to reconsider its engagement on security issues, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a statement expressing concern.

Reports emerged this week that Sri Lanka’s president had signed the execution warrants of four drug convicts. The reports have drawn international criticism from states and rights groups.

“Sri Lanka voted in favour of a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty at the UN General Assembly just six months ago,” the FCO highlighted. “A reversal of this policy would be a regressive step that would harm Sri Lanka’s international standing and its reputation as a tourist destination and growing centre for business. Implementation of the death penalty will inevitably make it more difficult for the UK to cooperate on law enforcement issues, including on counter terrorism, and will require us to review our technical assistance programmes on relevant policing, defence and other security issues.”

The UK had raised their concerns at the highest levels of the Sri Lankan government, the statement said.