The European Union (EU) called on the Sri Lankan Government to maintain its moratorium on the death penalty in line with its vote at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in December 2018.
"While acknowledging that combatting the proliferation of drugs is a serious challenge for countries around the world, and that action to counter the illicit drug trade is important and necessary, the evidence does not support the argument that the death penalty is an effective deterrent", the statement said adding that the EU is prepared to share their experiences in addressing the threat posed by drugs.
The EU further said that more than two-thirds of countries around the world, with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or have refrained from practicing it.
"The death penalty is an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity", the EU said.
Today's statement from the EU comes a week after president Maithripala Sirisena announced that dates have been set for the country’s first executions in 43 years amid rising alarm over drug-related crimes.