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Justice minister says capital punishment will not be scrapped in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said though a moratorium on the death penalty is in place, the decision has not been made to scrap capital punishment.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader he denied capital punishment had been scrapped but said “the Foreign Ministry is considering voting for the moratorium this year also”.

The European Union recently called for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide and welcomed Sri Lanka’s stand on the moratorium.

However, the government is set to interview candidates to fill the post of hangman this week, with the gallows at Welikada prison reportedly undergoing refurbishment.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithriapala Sirisena stated last month that he was expecting to approve capital punishment on the island by next year but, though he did not have to, would seek parliamentary approval first.

“In parliament, there was only an adjournment motion recently and there was no votes taken regarding the matter,” added Mr Rajapakshe.

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