President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is difficult for him to take a decision alone to execute those who have been sentenced to death. “It is a matter close to the heart. And the decision should be made after discussions in the cabinet”, the President said.
He said that there were rear instances of executing innocent persons in some countries. Hence implementation of the death sentence is a matter that needs extra careful handling, he said.
The President added that in his opinion, the people who committed crimes should have a chance for rehabilitation. And the society is the best place for them to be rehabilitated and reformed, he added. Reform camps are also better places for the prisoners serving sentences for minor crimes, he said.
President was answering a question by a journalist at the meeting of the editors of print and electronic media, held today (April 24), at the Temple Trees.
Although he is not in favour of capital punishment, perhaps, it may be necessary to carry out the death sentence of one or two convicts responsible for aggravated murders of exceptional circumstances or large scale drug trafficking, he stated.
The prisoners who are older than 60 or 70 years should be released after serving a portion of their sentence, President said.
“If we could pardon and reform the LTTE combatants responsible for mass murder and destruction, we should show similar sympathy towards other persons too, the President further stated.