(Text of a press release issued by Finance and Media minister Mangala Samaraweera)
In response to a question on the restoration of Capital Punishment for drug dealers at a press conference last week, while reiterating my opposition to Capital Punishment, I said that certain individuals connected to the drug trade try to cover their sins by being benefactors of society, holding high positions in various organizations or as philanthropists in religious organizations.
Inadvertently, I also mentioned Rotarians and Lions Clubs, which I deeply regret.
There may be some individuals in society that join various organizations for such reasons. However, I fully recognize and acknowledge that this does not,in anyway, diminish the noble charitable work which has been,and continues to be done by these Organizations throughout the country, especially for the poor, needy, destitute and the vulnerable.
I understand that my comments would have resulted in causing pain of mind to many. To all of them, I express my sincere apologies.
Minister of Finance and Media