President pledges to free society of drug menace

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 01:46 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday pledged to take every measure to rid the Sri Lankan society free of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Presiding over the inaugural sessions of the National Summit on Tobacco held under the theme ‘Towards a Tobacco Free Sri Lanka’ Wednesday at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, the President said he has set up a Presidential Task Force to achieve the objective. The conference, jointly organised by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization, will be conducted tomorrow as well. The President further said that a special program is being implemented this year to eliminate tobacco and alcohol usage as well as drugs use. He added that four million school children could be used as the best medium in moulding a society free of drugs. The President expressed appreciation for the cooperation extended to him by the WHO and NGOs including the ADDIC and National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol during the five year period he was functioning as the Minister of Health. Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne said the Tobacco Bill was presented to Parliament and passed within 100 days. He added that the society must not be subjected to the influences of the tobacco companies. National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Chairman Dr. Palitha Abeykoon and Director General of Health Services Specialist Physician Palitha Mahipala also spoke.