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PM pledges to declare war on drugs

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who took over the Ministry of Law and Order few days ago pledged to declare war against drugs yesterday.

The Prime Minister made this pledge at a ceremony held to mark the 35th anniversary of STF which also coincided with the passing
out of 169 STF personnel l at Katukurunda Police straining school last evening.

“We have to stop the drug trafficking and distribution. You cannot be soft on drugs. We have to be strict with it. If there is one loop-hole that will do a great damage. In USA they say you cannot be soft on drugs whether you are law enforcement institution, whether you are administering justice or doing correction services. Therefore let us not be soft on drugs,” he said.

Pledging to bring in strict laws to curb drugs, the Prime Minister said he will discuss bringing in new laws with the Attorney General. “Some laws pertaining to drug trafficking, illegal use of drugs and other laws pertaining to the police have become outdated and we need to modify these laws. I will discuss this matter with the Attorney General and other stake holders on the matter,” he added.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said a Buddhist monk once told him that the country is currently facing an issue which is more dangerous than terrorism. “ I asked this monk as to what he was talking about, he told me that it was drugs trafficking which had spread all over the country. He advised me to focus on this issue and save the youth from this social ill ,” he said.

He recalled that STF was first established in the 1980s when police stations in the North were overrun by the terrorists. STF was established to protect the police stations. Terrorists were not successful in attacking police stations during the war after STF was established. He said Sri Lankan STF is a role model for many other countries. The Prime Minister said this while highlighting that Sri Lanka is the first country in Asia to introduce a national police force. He therefore urged the STF personnel to safeguard its reputation.

IGP Pujith Jayasundara told the newly passed out officers not to engage in acts which tarnishes the image of STF. “Perform your duty towards the nation with zest and pride,” he told the officers.

Commanding officer of STF M. R. Latheef paid tribute to the founder of STF late Ravi Jayewardene and 483 STF personnel who had sacrificed their lives in the war since 1987. A commemorative coin was issued to mark the STF anniversary while two books were also launched. One is about the history of STF and the other about the history of the police. (Yohan Perera)