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Sri Lanka to impose death penalty for drug traffickers
Last Updated: 2018-07-11 17:36 | Xinhua
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Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has agreed to implement the death penalty on drug traffickers including those who are already facing the death sentence in prisons, Minister of Buddha Sasana, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera was quoted by local media as saying on Wednesday.

Minister Perera said the cabinet of ministers had taken a collective decision to impose the death sentence considering the recent rise in drug related murders and a large amount of drug imports planned by drug traffickers who were already in prison custody.

Following cabinet approval, President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale to prepare the draft bill to implement the death sentence.

Although capital punishment is a legal penalty in Sri Lanka, there have been no executions carried out since 1976.

The Sri Lankan government recently said the island country had become a transit point for major drug cartels as a consequence of the prolonged illicit activities of the Tamil Tiger rebels who were militarily defeated by government troops in May 2009 following a 30 year civil conflict.

Last week, Sri Lanka's Police Narcotics Bureau seized 103.9 kg of heroin worth Rs.1.2 billion (7.5 million U.S. dollars) in one of the department's biggest drug busts ever.

In 2016, Sri Lanka's Police Narcotics Bureau detected over 900 kg of cocaine from an Indian bound ship which was docked at the Colombo port.

This haul was the largest cocaine seizure recorded in South Asia with an estimated value of Rs. 12 billion (76 million U.S. dollars).

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