Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne today said he would not allow the import of foreign cigarettes to Sri Lanka as long as he is the Minister of Health.
Earlier, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that cigarettes should be imported from China as Chinese workers in Sri Lanka are highly dependent on them.
Addressing an event held in Colombo today, the Health Minister said there were only 6,000 registered Chinese workers in Sri Lanka but there are about 10,000 Indian workers.
“If we allow the import of Chinese cigarettes for 6,000 workers, then India will ask to send Indian cigarettes to some 10,000 of its workers here. Russia could also say that they want to send their cigarettes. As long as I’m the Health Minister, I won’t allow the import of foreign cigarettes,” he said.