Kalkudah Alcohol Distillery “in violation of president’s vision and national policy”

The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (PTFDP) strives to create a country free of drugs and has been able to generate positive changes with the help of the government. It has received a complaint about setting up of a liquor factory in the Kalkudah area. The Director of the Task Force Dr.Samantha Kumara Kithalawaarachchi has requested for a reply from the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance regarding the license that has been granted to the alcohol distillery in Kalkudah, Batticaloa as it is in violation of the National Drug Prevention Policies. In accordance with the president’s manifesto, a massive programme was launched to save the people from the menace of drugs and alcohol. At a time when the PTFDP is trying to move the farmers away from cultivating tobacco granting approval, for such large companies to set up alcohol plants and drag the people down once more is in clear violation of the government’s policies. The PTFDP will take action against the distillery, based on the president’s advice. Watch video for more on this story: The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (Click to link of the video)

Heads of Drug Enforcement Agencies of the Indian Ocean Region meet to combat maritime smuggling of narcotics

Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Sri Lanka government has taken various measures against this issue. Illicit flows at sea pose a serious threat to Sri Lanka as well as to the regional stability. Southern Route Partnership Heads of Drug Enforcement Agencies met in Colombo on 1st and 2nd of June 2017 to discuss about combating maritime smuggling of narcotics. Mr.Shanaka Jayasekara -Programme Coordinator, Regional Office for South Asia, UNODC delivered the welcome address. The opening remarks were conveyed by Prof. Ravindra Fernando - Chairman of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board of Sri Lanka. Several sessions were carried out on planning Southern Route Partnership (SRP) activities, planning for the post-monsoon period, major drug seizures in the region etc. The session on 'meeting the requirements of drug testing kits' was moderated by Dr. Samantha Kumara Kithalawaarachchi - Director of the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention. The meeting ended with new suggestions and plans on combating maritime smuggling of narcotics and building connections with regional partners to discover further ways to eradicate the drug menace.

Proposals for three national programs will be presented to first cabinet meeting – President

President Maithripala Sirisena says he would present the proposals related to national programs to be implemented for local food production, environment preservation and drug eradication, to the first cabinet meeting. He made these remarks at a meeting with the members of the Task Forces of above programs, held today (Aug. 20) at the Presidential Secretariat. The directors and Ministry Secretaries who are heading these Task Forces presented the progress of their programs to the President. The local food production program which makes the country self-sufficient will be implemented in several phases. The programs will be put into practice under the units such as agricultural research, qualitative applications and efficient sales system. The President pointed out the importance of encouraging farmers to cultivate all uncultivated farmlands. He recalled agrarian services act also states the importance of educating farmers on this regard. The environment preservation program will be implemented under sub programs on environmental issues, soil erosion, elephant-human conflict and coast conservation. President Sirisena pointing out that the programs he initiated during his time as the Minister of Environment to minimize the use of polythene which is severely affected the environment, rigorously have been deactivated by now. He directed the officials to seek into them and empower them again. Attention was also paid on the progress of the program for chronicle kidney disease which has been a huge social tragedy. The plans for drug prevention which will be implemented island-wide in the future were also presented at this occasion. The President pointed out that all these responsibilities cannot be solved by any ministry or institution alone. He emphasized this programs should achieve their objectives with the participation of everybody for the future of this country.