President Maithripala Sirisena vowed that he was firmly determined to eradicate the drug menace from the country and as such severe legal measures would be imposed against those who smuggle such harmful substances to the country.
President Sirisena made these remarks during a meeting held regarding the draft legislation on drug control and reduction of crimes, at the President’s office today.
The meeting focused attention to issues such as delays in taking legal actions against those who are in prison regarding drug-related offences and obtaining reports on the quantity of drugs and analysis reports from the Department of Government Analyst. He also focused on staff shortages and other practical drawbacks.
"These setbacks should be cleared off through a proper study with the collaboration of the Department of Government Analyst, Attorney General’s Department and Police Department with the core contribution of the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms," he said.
President Sirisena instructed Minister of Justice and Prison Reform, Thalatha Athukorala to take action promptly on these issues without delay.
The attention was given for the programmes that are being carried out by different public institutions, and private organizations on rehabilitating drug addicts. It was suggested that they should discuss within their own institutes and formulate a broad common programme for rehabilitating the drug addicts.
During this meeting, it was discussed regarding the progress of making required amendments to the Excise Ordinance and President Sirisena instructed the Finance Ministry to immediately submit the relevant amendments to the Cabinet.
It was also discussed regarding the amendments to the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. The security issues of the prisons and the development activities of the Boossa Prison were also discussed and the President inquired the officials about the progress of transferring inmates of the Welikada Prison to the Boossa Prison.
The officials stated that changes are being implemented by the Department of Motor Traffic using modern technology and the programme launched to prevent road accidents were also reviewed.
Minister Thalatha Athukorale, Secretary to the President Udaya R. Senevirathne, Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the relevant Heads of the institutions, IGP Pujith Jayasundara and others participated in this discussion. (Sandun A Jayasekera)