Speaking at an event to mark the end of the national drug prevention week in Colombo, the President said that the EU has threatened to withdraw the EU GSP plus trade concession if Sri Lanka implements the death penalty. He said that no country can threaten Sri Lanka’s sovereignty using such trade concessions.
The President strongly defended implementing the death penalty on serious offenders of illegal drug trafficking stating that the majority of the income from drug trafficking goes to nurturing international terrorism.
He even asserted that international drug traffickers were behind the recent Easter Sunday attacks. Sirisena also criticised the government and the opposition for opposing it. His claims came as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe and leader of opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa along with several western nations and international organisations had opposed the President announcement for death penalty to four drug dealers.
Meanwhile, former defence secretary and police chief have been taken into arrest on Tuesday for their negligence to prevent Easter Sunday attacks. Both were taken into arrest by a team of CID officers while they were admitted in hospitals in Colombo on health grounds.
Hemasiri Fenando was removed from the post of defence secretary after the April 21 attacks and was receiving treatment at the General hospital. Inspector General of Police (IGP) who was sent on compulsory leave was arrested from police hospital where he was admitted on Tuesday morning.
Earlier, both were summoned to appear before the CID on Tuesday. Country’s Attorney General on Monday wrote to the acting IGP urging him to bring charges against both saying there is sufficient information to prove negligence of official duties. His letter said the two officials should be brought before a magistrate for their criminal negligence which amounts to what is known under international law to be grave crimes against humanity.
Sri Lankan government has accepted that there were intelligence inputs regarding the Easter attacks which killed over 250 people including 45 foreigners.