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Sri Lankan president repeats praise for Duterte’s drug war

/ 09:11 PM January 16, 2019
Maithripala Sirisena and Rodrigo Duterte

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte give their joint press statement in Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Photo from an RTVM video)

MANILA, Philippines — Visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday called President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial crackdown on illegal drugs an “example” to the whole world.

Sirisena, who is currently in the Philippines for a five-day state visit, also said that his country intends to follow President Duterte’s “footsteps” in fighting illegal drugs.

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“The war against crime and drugs carried out by you is an example to the whole world and personal to me,” Sirisena said in his speech during a state banquet in Malacañang.

“Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard,” he added.

This was not the first time Sirisena expressed admiration for Duterte’s drug war.

In July 2018, the Sri Lankan leader said his government would start hanging drug criminals and promised to “replicate the success” of the Philippines’ anti-drug war.

READ: Sri Lanka to hang drug criminals, replicate PH ‘success’ in war on narcotics

Since taking power in 2016, President Duterte has made a crackdown on the illegal drugs the focal point of his administration, continuing the brutal campaign against the banned substance that he used in Davao City when he was its mayor.

Local and international human rights groups have expressed their opposition to his drug war, citing alleged violations of human rights, which the government vehemently denied.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is carrying out a preliminary investigation into Duterte’s drug war for allegedly involving crimes against humanity. /atm

READ: Despite PH withdrawal, ICC to keep an eye on Duterte’s drug war

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TAGS: Maithripala Sirisena, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
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