The Gallows for Drug Offenders

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President Maithripala Sirisena recently revealed that he has already decided a date to implement the Judicial Execution for the drug peddlers.

However, when the President notified of implementing the death penalty for drug offenders in a bid to wipe out drugs from the face of Sri Lanka, many were of the view that this plan of President’s would hardly see the light of the day. Likewise, many parties raised objections thereon, adducing various reasons for not implementing the Capital Punishment. Nonetheless, undaunted, President Maithripala Sirisena launched and unprecedented crusade against drugs.

Sri Lanka becoming a ‘drug hub’ can be attributed to the inadvertence of the law enforcement agencies and legislation as well as the fostering of the drug mafia by the top brass in every government. Drugs from various countries were smuggled to Sri Lanka for inland sale as well as for worldwide distribution. When the drugs became abundant in the country, the dealers adopted various marketing strategies to bolster the use of drugs among people. This led to the increased drug use and people in all walks of life from the school students to the elderly people fell prey to the drug addiction.  

Hardly any government took stern actions to eradicate drug menace, but instead some politicians harboured drug kingpins.

It is President Maithripala Sirisena who lion-heartedly declared unprecedented war against the drug mafia in the country by busting drugs that were smuggled into the country and by proclaiming judicial execution for the offenders. However, in his journey of eliminating drugs, President withstood various scoffs, threats and influences to cave in the campaign against drugs, but he was determined to end the battle that he began, by hook or by crook for the betterment of the future generations.

The constant apprehension of smuggled drugs can help, but would not be sufficient to eradicate the drug mafia from Sri Lanka. Hence, apart from nabbing drugs and incarcerating the offenders, something more stringent than the said should be introduced to induce terror in the hearts of those who engage in peddling drugs and also using them, if such activities are to be weeded out.

Nothing less than the Judicial Execution would be appropriate in this endeavour.

The criminalization of drugs began in 1970s and has led to the imposition of judicial execution in many countries. Many international treaties proscribed activities related to drugs such as cultivation of plants that are used to derive certain drugs, manufacturing, possession, use and sale and if found guilty the offenders were convicted. The death penalty is the highest as well as the extreme punishment for the drug offences in the world.

In Sri Lanka, Capital Punishment has not been carried out since 1976 due to varied reasons, one prime reason being the country’s adherence to the principles of Buddhism when ruling, that are based on compassion towards all living beings. Hence, majority of the people in this country are of the strong view that, taking someone’s life is against the precepts of Buddhism and is a sin apart from it being highly unethical.

The death penalty, true, is an abhorrent and inhuman practice beyond a shadow of doubt regardless the person who is being convicted or the crime he perpetrated. Hence, the implementation of Capital Punishment for the drug offenders, one can argue as a downright contravention of a person’s right to live. It can also be a violation of international human rights law.

Nevertheless, if an individual causes serious damage to a large number of people and society by his acts, that person should doubtlessly be punished for the betterment of the majority. In certain cases, in order to save a society or a country, those offenders should be eliminated for the proper functioning of the society or country.

Drugs are a menace to not only Sri Lanka but also to any country and they have tremendous negative impacts on people as well as society. Drugs cause social, economic and health problems. Families of the drug addicts are devastated by their addiction. Once addicted, drugs can kill a person slowly by transforming him to a walking corpse. The detriments of drugs are numerous to be mentioned. Hence, those who destroy the individuals, families as well pose a threat to the society should be eliminated.

Hence death penalty to drug offenders can be encouraged in order to discourage the trafficking as well as using drugs.

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