President unveils multi-pronged drive to curb drug smuggling

President Maithripala Sirisena will introduce a new programme to eradicate illicit drugs which is to be implemented at a national level.

The programme will be introduced in the meeting that is scheduled to be held today with the heads of media organizations.

President Sirisena made these remarks addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Summit of Experts on eradicating illegal drugs-smuggling by using scientific methods held at the Water’s Edge Hotel Battaramulla yesterday.

The President further stated that this new programme which will be carried forward with full coordination with the Tri-Forces, Police, Cost Guard and the Customs Department will enable the country to witness the new action taken in the drive to eradicate drugs smuggling.

“While carrying on new rules and regulations in eradicating drug smuggling certain parties who harp on human rights are creating blockades,” the President said.

He said that if a country is to be virtuous, it has to have policies, visions as well as suitable punishments to culprits.The great historical legacy of our country is written about our valuable society and virtuous culture since punishments and spiritual values were existed hand in hand in the history of the country.

Speaking on the programme to control illicit liquor in villages, the President instructed the Inspector General of Police to complete the programme to eradicate illicit liquor in rural areas by next Vesak Full Moon Poya Day.

The President also said that the work of the Special Authority established under its guidance for the rehabilitation of drug addicts will commence its work within the next three months.

The Summit of Experts focuses on the use of broadly and coordinated scientific methods for the elimination and prevention of illegal drug trafficking.

Scientists, intellectuals and policymakers from different countries are participating in this summit and the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board is organizing the summit, which will continue tomorrow.

The President further advised the Dangerous Drugs Control Board Chairman to inform him of all decisions taken at this conference.

President Sirisena said that the Government of Sri Lanka is fully committed to implementing the national programs and sought advice and guidance from academics, experts and industry experts.

Chief Incumbent of the Nissarana Monastery in Meethirigala, Venerable Udaeriyagama Dammajeewa Thera, Maha Sangha led by Ven. Kuppiyawatte Bodhananda Thera, Minister Thalatha Athukorala, State Defence and Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board Prof. Saman Abeysinghe participated in the inauguration ceremony.

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