Drug-related crime and the death penalty

Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits

In this article published in the East Asian Forum, ISS Assistant Professor Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits analyses the politics behind bringing back the death penalty for drug related offences in Sri Lanka by President Sirisena.

She argues this new move could be part of a larger political gambit aimed at winning the upcoming  presidential elections. 

Despite the fact that, even with his new move,  Presient Sirisena chances of securing a second term in office remains uncertain, his political war against drug related offences is making small gains by drawing political attention to himself, while distracting the electoral mass away from compelling issues of national security and economic development.

Jayasundara-Smits argues that Sirisena’s choice of battleground has been executed with military precision, reminding us of Clauzewitz’s claim that ‘war is politics by other means’.

Assistant professor
More information

Read the full article online - Sri Lankan President Sirisena’s political war on drugs

Or read the article in blog post on BlISS, the ISS blog on Global Development and Social Justice.