Sri Lanka has become an international narcotics hub and more must be done to curb drugs abuse in the country, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a ceremony to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday.
“Drug usage has increased in Sri Lanka and has spread even to rural parts of the country. This is a menace,” the Prime Minister said, accusing the media of focusing more on other issues and less on the drug scourge that has hit the country.
“People have turned a blind eye towards the drug menace in Sri Lanka,” the Premier further alleged. He said that the main solution to this issue is to bring about awareness on this matter and to implement laws against drug abuse.
‘When implementing laws the Police, Navy, Coast Guards, Air Force and the Police Special Task Force must work together. There is an urgent need to pay close attention on laws related to this field and to reform the Constitution”, he said.
Premier Wickremesinghe said the Police Narcotics Bureau needed to be staffed with more officers, as a first step to mitigate the problem. “I have discussed this matter with Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake already,” he said.
“Furthermore”, the Premier said, “we should find ways to stop drug imports, usage and trafficking in Sri Lanka”.
“Drugs come in to the country from Pakistan and India through marine sources. We have taken measures to allocate more money to halt these drug dealings,” the Premier said. “Another menace is drug distribution. Drug usage in Colombo North and the area surrounding the Kelani river bank has increased,” he further alleged.
The Premier said that new Police stations have been set up in the area to nab drug dealers and users and implement the law against them.
“It is also important to work together with countries which work against drug abuse,” he said.
Concluding his speech the Prime Minister said that though it is difficult to eradicate drug abuse the situation can be controlled through preventive action. He also called on religious leaders to join hands in eradicating the drug menace in Sri Lanka. (CDN)