The island-wide National Drug Prevention Week under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena coinciding with the ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ saw the completion of its final day successfully yesterday.
The main ceremony of the week long campaign will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium today with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chief Guest.
In parallel to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observances on 26 July, President Maithripala Sirisena pioneered this week-long drug prevention campaign island-wide, targeting schoolchildren, students in universities, vocational training centres and the general public, as an expression of his determination to strengthen action and co-operation to achieve the goal of a society free of drug abuse.
The campaign saw its curtain rise with a special education program aimed at school children on 24 June and a community awareness program followed on the second day on the same theme. The third day (26 June) of the campaign aimed at educating employees in State institutions while the fourth day (27 June) focused on enlightening members serving in the armed services. Several programs were also conducted in various parts of the island with a special focus on the rehabilitation of drug addicts on 28 June. On the following day, the campaigners focused their attention on educating university students. In addition, there were a number of programs to educate field officers island-wide yesterday (30 June) marking the final day of the campaign.
The campaign events included several public marches, education programs, conferences, lectures, and poster and banner campaigns covering the whole island, all of which saw high public participation.
In the meantime, the Presidential Task Force for Drug Prevention, National Dangerous Drug Control Board and the Sri Lanka Police Department joined hands to compile a national report on drug abuse and the spread of drug abuse in order to assess the level of the danger. Their committee report will be handed over to the President at the closing ceremony tomorrow.
The National Drug Prevention program is being carried out under the direct supervision of President Sirisena and has achieved triumphant victories, including number of arrests connected to drug offenses and the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts from 2015 to 2019.
The President himself has chaired 14 district conferences in support of the movement. A further 15,000 drug prevention committees in district, provincial and village levels are active today to eradicate the social threat completely from the country. A 72,000 strong contingent of assistant drug prevention technicians are also in line islandwide to help in this endeavour.
In addition, 6,000 more drug prevention committees have been established under the ‘Thirasara’ school project and ‘Kalyana Mitra Societies’ or Friends’ Clubs in 15,000 Sunday Schools are devoted to the cause. The President has also called the Tri Forces in for duty in drug prevention and all of those in the war against drugs have received commendations in recognition of their services.
Law cases connected to a total of 1695kg of drugs have completed proceedings and the drug stocks destroyed in public in order to garner public support for the war against drugs. Law enforcement authorities have seized 24,818kgs, 393grams and 767miligrams from 2015 to 2019.