President Maithripala Sirisena says the ‘Drug free country’ program, inaugurated by the Government to build a healthy nation by saving the future generation from the drug menace, has shown successful results.
“The treasury reported to the Cabinet that the income from the taxes for liqueur and cigarettes has been reduced for the first time in history. Though this is a decrease of the income for the Government, we consider it as a great investment for the future generation,” he said.
The President was speaking at the ceremony to open the new building complex of the Teldeniya District Base Hospital, Kandy last week.
He pointed out that the main benchmark of the development of a country is education and health. “A country where educated and healthy people are living is rapidly moving towards development,” he said.
He said it is the Government’s goal to lead all sections of the country towards an efficient development. “Today Sri Lanka is getting international support like never before. The Government’s objective is to use that support for the development of the country,” the President further stated.
The President on 4 May 2013, as then Health Minister laid the foundation stone for the four storied building with surgical complex, ICU and Forensic Medical Unit, sponsored by the JAICA and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine.
The President appreciated the assistance given by Japan without any conditions as a good friend. He thanked the government of Japan and the people on this regard.
President Sirisena unveiled the plaque and opened the new building complex. He also registered the first patient to be admitted to the new ward complex.
Governor of the Central Province Niluka Ekanayake presented a souvenir to the President at this occasion.
Minister of Health Rajitha Senarathne, Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, Provincial Health Minister Bandula Yalegama, Japanese Acting Ambassador and the Director of the hospital Doctor Chaminda Weerakoon were among those who participated in this occasion.