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My int’l achievements ignored: President

29 April 2015 05:26 pm - 46     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Maithripala Sirisena said today that during his tenure as Health Minister, he received two awards -- one from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the other from the University of Harvard – but they were not acknowledged by the previous regime.

“About a month ago, the Excise Department of Excise sent me a report stating that 326 outlets selling tobacco and alcohol without confirming to the necessary guidelines. I submitted a motion recommending that these outlets be closed. In the wake of my recommendation, the Treasury informed me of the difficulty to meet budgetary targets if these outlets were closed down. As far as I can remember, the Treasury earns more than Rs.60 billion as revenue from the sale tobacco and another Rs.55 billion from the sale of alcohol. So this is the current situation,” the President said.

He made these observations at the inauguration of the National Summit on Tobacco titled, Towards a Tobacco-Free Sri Lanka. It was organised by NATA and WHO with the assistance of the Health Ministry and ADIC. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva were also present at the ceremony.

The President said that though he had done his best to maximize the control of tobacco and alcohol use during the past five years, he had received little or no support from the leaders of the previous regime.

“We need to make schoolchildren and the people aware of the dangers of tobacco and alcohol use so that they could be rescued from the clutches of these vices,” he said. (Kamanthi Wickramasinghe)


  Comments - 46

  • CW Thursday, 30 April 2015 03:13 PM

    Yes, the victory achieved by betraying the whole nation.

    MADUKRM22 Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:31 PM

    Keep up the good show. Together with Ranil, you could make up a good team.Throw all the currupt politicians out from the SLFP. Next election will result in a UNP Govt.

    Krishantha Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:37 PM

    Your are a cry baby

    An Optimistic Sri Lanka Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:39 PM

    Everyone must start thinking in the bid picture and look to the future. Please stop dwelling in the past and indulge in blame game. While politicians are doing a proper job of work, let the people of the country to have the freedom to engage in their work well. Let farmers cultivate, teachers teach, workers work, engineers construct, pilots fly, doctors/nurses treat and so on...! Then only the country move forwards. This attitude change in society shall start from HE President himself.

    Bala Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:02 PM

    Forget and forgive those who said unkind words like WW and did bad deeds like MR. Let us move on and you lead us with such great assurance and compassion and always doing the right thing. Thank you and Sri Lanka will be with you except the few who sow hatred like Dinesh Vasu and WW.

    kali Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:02 PM

    why lamenting now. He could have shown his achievemts when he received them. Now weeping for lost glory makes him another bankrupt politician

    aroosha Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:14 PM

    HE president Sirisena is the Most honest politician we ever had in this country. I personally believe we would have him as executive president with all the powers but not to anybody after that. Powerful executive presidency is good provided people elect the correct person which hardly happens in our country.

    Sincere Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:25 PM

    Mr. President, We all know that what type of achievements the previous regime looked for and well recognized. So just say, "Forgive them for they did not know what they were doing"

    Ajja Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:33 PM

    "The Treasury earns more than Rs.60 billion as revenue from the sale of tobacco and another Rs.55 billion from the sale of alcohol".Mr.President,do you know how much the tax payers spent for cancer and other hospitals island wide to treat those people who smoke and drink..may be Billions more than that and the life of those lost to their wives and children are immense.So close all the taverns island wide.

    Dasun Thursday, 30 April 2015 02:00 PM

    Stop whining man ur the president now!!

    Gameveda Thursday, 30 April 2015 02:00 PM

    You get the biggest and true award when you implement a new national policy on drugs

    Freebird Thursday, 30 April 2015 02:28 PM

    Dont worry sir You will be rewarded by the almighty God for the good things you are doing and the people of this country will be faithful to you via DM Android App

    Dinesh Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:11 PM

    What country requires at the moment is a visionary leadership to effectively implement national policies. You are in the correct path sir.... via DM Android App

    sunil Thursday, 30 April 2015 04:21 PM

    This man is always mourning and groaning. No wonder he himself says people are making various comments about him. Get rid of the person who is writing your script or giving you advice on what to say. He or she is doing more damage than you think.

    Ranil Wijeyesekera Thursday, 30 April 2015 04:31 PM

    Their are chain smokers and alcohol drinkers and drug users who are addicted. Research and knowledge of recent research to kick the habbitis necessary.Multi nationals are a strong organization that we have to face.

    Bala Thursday, 30 April 2015 04:35 PM

    Dasun the Brave - thanks to My3. 5 months ago your email address would traced and we will see you no more.

    C.K.Lankaputhra Thursday, 30 April 2015 04:39 PM

    Even if it is so, I sincerely thank those two organizations for their support.

    Ruwan Thursday, 30 April 2015 05:42 PM

    Er ... ask any patient but the honourable Basil Rajapaksha :D

    Mason Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:31 PM

    A cry Baby is much better than a corrupted Baby.

    Sanjeewa Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:58 PM

    Mr. President we salute you as a true gentleman. Firstly will you please get your SECURITY ISSUE FIXED. What if something would have happened to you the other day definitely the Rajapaksha Regime will be in power today. So Please get Some trustworthy security personnel to provide security for you.

    pubudu Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:37 PM

    Pissu bullshit!!

    brainmaster Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:44 PM

    Free of alcohol and tobacco will never be possible, nowhere in the whole world. Bans bring no results, only education !

    boris Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:30 PM

    No alcohol, no tobacco is an illusion. Education as prevention can help.

    ibadun Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:05 AM

    Dear Mr. PresidentWe have elected you to correct previous and go forward with correct. so now we request your actionThanks

    Fair N Square Wednesday, 29 April 2015 11:36 PM

    This President is sober and smart unlike MR who is sinking with his drinking... Mr President worry not for acknowledgements by the previous regime. We the citizenry of Sl know your valuable services for the betterment of SL... while MR plundered all the national wealth...with family and goons..

    poker Wednesday, 29 April 2015 11:39 PM

    pity what a shame, hope he will be a success president achieving all the goals set in the election manifesto - Jayawewa

    Hiran Gunawardena Wednesday, 29 April 2015 11:56 PM

    Wests gave you these awards as a long term plan to prop up as . a . puppet master. Is that what you. call achievement. People in this country wondering what service to health you done via DM Android App

    milindha morahela Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:05 AM

    Jayawewa!This is the best "words" i have ever heard from any leader of Sri Lanka after Independence or from any leader in the world.

    kumudu Thursday, 30 April 2015 02:32 AM

    evening 6 to 10 all politicians should send to be with their families. at least Parliament should have holidays 2 months.

    dwickra Thursday, 30 April 2015 04:09 AM

    What achievement you are talking about Mr . President?That is the gift Western powers gave you to be a part of their conspiracy. or prize paid for removing from power someone against them. Those are not achievements sir ,

    Sena Thursday, 30 April 2015 05:37 AM

    Concentrate on making Sri Lanka a transparent, model democracy. You will get due recognition!

    WTF Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:27 AM

    And this regime do is blame someone else!! atleast now can we stop the blame game and start doing something worth while... Looks like all politicians are the same. same game different face!!

    saman Thursday, 30 April 2015 06:51 AM


    sobers Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:24 AM

    Your Excellency, with so much of difficulties and obstacles achievements to date are commendable. Srilankans are becoming more arm chair critics. Especially, the politicians. Go ahead with your programs, the majority of the public supports you. May you have the blessings of the triple gem.

    raj Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:54 AM

    tobacco free society is a global goal. Sri Lanka should be partner of that. May be the government should not hire people who are smokers or alcoholics. By doing so, it can motivate citizens to away from tobacco.

    Push Wednesday, 29 April 2015 11:06 PM

    Sir, you are the one who could save the country from this menace.

    jolly bird Thursday, 30 April 2015 08:07 AM


    sadees Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:20 AM

    Thank you President. School children should be educated wisely by school principals and teachers about the danger of Tobacco and Alcohol.

    Nihal Amarasekera Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:37 AM

    Has it become a necessary evil, thinking of the billions of income generated?

    wijethunga Thursday, 30 April 2015 10:21 AM

    Alcohol and tobacco create major problems in our society.we relay appreciate Mr. President achievements and try to do best to create alcohol and tobacco free country.

    upali Thursday, 30 April 2015 10:44 AM

    May be these awards were given on your pre-planned process for a regime change.

    G.M. Jayawardena Thursday, 30 April 2015 10:56 AM

    Award winning is a personnel achievement not for the ministry whose services have been on the down trend since 1977. Ask any patient whether that person is receiving proper treatment from the govt hospitals without having a private counseling with a doctor. Not only the health service all other services are on haywire since 1977 and no govt seemed to have ever tried to improve these services.

    JO JO Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:02 AM

    Monkey praises his own tail. Either ban totally liquor and smoking or allow these to earn income for the state. The choice is yours.Please face reality and be practical as a leader without trying to be a Bodhisathva.

    Mason Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:02 AM

    In order to elevate yourself some resort to suppressing the greatness of others. This could be a reason for not recognizing your achievements by the earlier regime.

    kukula. Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:21 AM

    I remember when Nimal sirpala received some certificate from WHO he made a huge cry.You will be remembered for ever by the people of this country for the victory you achieved on the Jan 8th.

    Mushy Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:27 AM

    HIS Excellency so far your doing great work towards mother nation as promised.Please keep it up . More good things to be expected

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