Cabinet memo to establish rehabilitation authority: President

28 January 2019 06:11 pm - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While reiterating that he was determined to hang at least a few convicted drug kingpins who continued to commit crimes even while on death row, President Maithripala Sirisena said he would submit a Cabinet memo tomorrow to establish a rehabilitation authority to save people, especially the youth, from drug abuse.

He lamented that no government in the past two or three decades had taken any tangible action to control narcotics, even though the first incident of drug abuse in Sri Lanka had been reported in 1983.

Delivering the keynote address at a ceremony held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium to award police officers who rendered yeoman services to control the abuse, spread, distribution and illegal import of narcotics and drugs, the President said it was only after he took over the Law and Order Ministry that he realised the gravity of drug menace in the country.

“There was no concerted effort to prevent illegal drugs and narcotics from being distributed freely in the country as there was no proper policy to control and plug the crime. There was no proper rehabilitation mechanism and it was done by a few private and semi-government institutions. There was no proper law to control or prevent the drug menace. I was shocked to learn this drawback and started the fight against narcotics and drugs,” he said.

The President said in other countries where drug crimes were rampant, law enforcement officers used modern equipment for detection, surveillance and screening.

"During my recent visit to the Philippines, I was able to gain first-hand information on drug control from my counterpart Rodrigo Duterte and drug prevention officers. We lag behind in this aspect. When I was shown that high-tech equipment, I felt sorry for our drug prevention officers. I immediately phoned my Defence Secretary and instructed him to take steps to purchase those apparatus and call for tenders. As Health Minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, I faced many a roadblock in attempts to put an end to alcoholism and smoking. All the laws, cabinet papers and other documents I presented against those crimes were confronted by the top administration, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court," he said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 4

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  • Chryshan K Monday, 28 January 2019 06:22 PM

    Yep. Start with biggest ones like Duminda and GR.

    Lion Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:54 AM

    What do you mean by GR? Our next President.

    mnsmart Monday, 28 January 2019 07:40 PM

    If he can do that he will be my next President

    Nalin Monday, 28 January 2019 07:59 PM

    MS has got a good training from the Philippine President.


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