Does Singapore have the right to comment on Sri Lanka’s death penalty for drug offenses?

Does Singapore have the right to comment on Sri Lanka’s death penalty for drug offenses?

Written by Staff Writer

05 Mar, 2019 | 7:53 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – An article published by a Singaporean university body has sounded a warning against the restoration of the ‘death penalty’ here in Sri Lanka.

The commentary published by the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, a constituent unit of the Nanyang Technological university states that “Sri Lanka risks alienating nations whose help is needed to combat drug trafficking.”

Under the section named policy recommendation the article published states that before Sri Lanka becomes established as a drug transit hub, the authorities need to continue to apprehend traffickers, drug abusers and rehabilitate them. It adds that one challenge that Sri Lanka has to overcome is the lack of financial and human resources committed to capacity-building such as training anti-narcotic officers.

Finally, it states that “The current government will also have to overcome both domestic and international opposition, from those who do not endorse the death penalty for drug traffickers.”

However, Singapore imposes capital punishment on drug traffickers. In October last year, Singapore executed drug traffickers including foreign nationals such as US citizens, Malaysians and locals as well. Despite pleas from international bodies like Amnesty International and Malaysia, their geographical neighbor who has abolished the death penalty, Singapore did not hesitate to execute a Malaysian national named Prabu N Pathmanathan who had been on death row since 2014.

A lawyer representing Prabu N. Pathmanathan said that Singapore has also unlawfully denied an appeal for clemency filed by a family member of a death row inmate. He further stated that Singapore appears to be shortening the notice given to prisoners so that they can “execute them with a minimum notice”. How can a university based in a country that has imposed the death penalty in their own country, which has already executed inmates on drug charges warn Sri Lanka on how it plans to counter the war on drugs?

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