President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to re-establish hangings for drug traffickers as part of a broader anti-drug push. Sirisena, who is seeking re-election this year, told Parliament recently that the hangings would resume within months.
Freddie Gamage, an organiser of the vigil said that despite being in power for four years, the current government "has miserably failed to fulfil its promise to punish those responsible for attacks on journalists.''
On October 26, President Sirisena, 67, sacked Wickeremesinghe as Prime Minister and replaced him with ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, triggering the never-seen-before political and constitutional impasse which lasted for over two months.
President Maithripala Sirisena's dramatic move to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and install former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place following differences over policy issues left the country without a functioning government for nearly two months.
In his televised speech, Sirisena said his reasons for firing Wickremesinghe included a lack of interest in helping investigate an alleged insider trade during a bond issue, in which a former Central Bank governor who is a close friend of Wickremesinghe is implicated.