It should be there but shouldn’t be implemented – Mahinda

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Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the death penalty should be there as a punishment but it shouldn’t be implemented.

He said this in response to questions by journalists at Mawiththara Sri Thisarana Dharmaayathanaya in Piliyandala.

“The punishment should be there, it shouldn’t change. Our opinion is that it shouldn’t be implemented,” he said.

When asked about the remarks made by the President that he would a national day of mourning if a bill to abolish the death penalty was presented in parliament, Mr. Rajapaksa said, “That’s his opinion.”

He said the death penalty was something which had been stopped after executing two convicted in the 70s during Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s tenure.

“There is a big issue about the death penalty. The President says it should be resumed thinking drugs can be stopped. That’s what he believes. But the opinion of the majority in the country is that there is no need for it,” he said.