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Stop importing cigarettes from China: Rajitha tells PM

28 June 2019 04:47 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In an apparent confrontation with Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has written to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting him to immediately suspend the decision taken by the Finance Ministry to import cigarettes from China.

Minister Senaratne in his letter to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, has informed him that if the Finance Ministry went ahead with its decision and imported cigarettes from China at a time the government has taken several measures to control and discourage the use of tobacco, smoking and alcohol, the Chairman of the National Authority of Tobacco and Alcohol Dr. Palitha Abeykoon and the Board of Directors would resign in protest.

Dr. Senaratne is also on record saying that he would tender his resignation from the cabinet if the Finance Ministry imported cigarettes for the use of 6,000 Chinese nationals serving Sri Lanka’s construction industry.

Minister Senaratne has also said that he was aware that a cigarette import licence is to be issued to a distilleries owner and this action would go against the pledge given in 2015 by the ‘Yahapalana Government’ to control smoking and alcohol in Sri Lanka.

The Health Ministry has fulfilled 20 out of 22 conditions of the World Health Organization’s ‘Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’ (WHO – FCTC) of 2003 which Sri Lanka has ratified.

The importing of cigarettes is a reverse to the anti-tobacco and smoking campaign championed by the government.

Besides, Sri Lanka is a recipient of three awards for its anti-tobacco and smoking campaign by the WHO, he added. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 9

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  • purawasiyaa Friday, 28 June 2019 05:46 AM

    Government authorities should keep eye on Chinese nationals and inspect their apartments regularly to make sure they are not manufacturing drugs / illegal tablets secretly with the help of local drug mafia.

    Premalal Perera Friday, 28 June 2019 05:50 AM

    What next? Surely more and more Chinese will come but will they go back? You only have to see what happened to Malaysia, and more brutally to Tibet.

    MP Friday, 28 June 2019 07:34 AM

    NOT THREE AWARDS - FOUR AWARDS.

    ANTON Friday, 28 June 2019 08:23 AM

    SRILANKAN WILL BE MORE HEALTHY BY NOT IMPORTING CIGARETTES FROM CHINA.

    ANTON Friday, 28 June 2019 08:23 AM

    MOST BURNING PROBLEM OF SRILANKA AT THE MOMENT.

    jaliya Friday, 28 June 2019 08:26 AM

    Since when Rajitha concerned about anything ? This is not about our health ... he is worried that the WHO aid promoting anti tobacco and alcohol initiative funds he receives would be cut off ... that's the real reason. I would concentrate on the illegal activities of those 6,000 Chinese workers instead.

    Yehiya Friday, 28 June 2019 09:04 AM

    Rajitha is gentleman. Vital roll model in health

    Ram Friday, 28 June 2019 10:35 AM

    I am against the import of cigarettes from any country. Here I wonder if Rajitha has a retainer from the Ceylon Tobbaco

    MP Friday, 28 June 2019 05:04 PM

    YES, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST BURNING PROBLEMS IN SL, BECAUSE 22000 PEOPLE DYING IN AN YEAR DUE TO TOBACCO RELATED DISEASE IS A BURNING ISSUE.


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