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Anti-narcotics blitz from April 3

The new pool at the Hingurakgoda Ananda Balika Vidyalaya/Nissanka de Silva President’s Media Unit

President Maithripala Sirisena is promising a blitz against drug dealers from April 3, when he will deploy the armed forces to fight the narcotic menace.

The president made this statement after declaring open a swimming pool at the Hingurakgoda Ananda Balika Vidyalaya on Monday (25).

He said that the big push to eradicate drugs will begin with all state and private sector workers, armed forces, and school children taking a national oath to fight against the drug trade.

The president lauded the efforts of the Special Task force and the navy in apprehending a ship carrying heroin on March 23 where they captured 9 smugglers with 100 kg of heroin. “Navy commander informed me when they surrounded the ship and it would take us 12 hours to bring it to land” said the president. He said “the ship was seized along with 9 Iranians at 12 nautical miles from the land; when they saw the navy was surrounding them, they dumped 500 kg of heroin into the sea…”

According to the president, drugs are distributed for free among the university students by the smugglers and that there are school children who have been addicted to drugs in prestigious schools and secondary schools. He said that there are occasions where he had ordered the officers to check the classrooms of those schools. He also said that not only boys but girls are also addicted to drugs and that this has become a national crisis.

President Sirisena with students of Hingurakgoda Ananda Balika Vidyalaya/ Nissanka de Silva President’s Media Unit

The president said that the police alone cannot remove the drug threat from society; the support of the general public is also needed.