Address by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at Opening of the Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty
Despite its widespread use, for millennia the death penalty has caused lingering societal discomfort and unease. Fairly early on in history many enlightened leaders have found the death penalty degrading of human dignity. For example, in ancient Sri Lanka a number of kings – influenced by the Buddha’s teaching – abolished the death penalty. In fact, for much of the first, third, fourth and thirteenth centuries the death penalty was not employed in Sri Lanka.