Drug usage is the main cause of increase in rural poverty, stated the President.
President Maithripala Sirisena stated that the addiction to harmful drugs among lower income household has a main factor for the increase in rural poverty.
Therefore, to irradiate this menace, a special programme with the support of all the sectors, including the government in power is essential, the President said.
President Sirisena mentioned this at the launching of the first programme of the ‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme being implemented under the “Mathin Nidahas Ratak” National programme held at the Mahaweli Ground, Embilipitiya, yesterday (Feb 23).
To establish a peaceful Sri Lankan society with the support of rural community, the National programme ‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme implemented under the “Mathin Nidahas Ratak” has already started several actions including raids with the assistance of Civil Defence Committees to prevent drugs smuggling and distribution.
The programme includes building a sustainable mechanism for drug prevention, strongly influence the illicit drug traders engaged in smuggling and selling drugs to stop their activities with collaboration of the village folk and leading individuals engaged in such work and guide them towards different industries and their constant supervision, rehabilitating the drug addicts in rural areas and providing assistance and counseling, conducting drug prevention within rural areas and making aware the society about the repercussions of drug usage through awareness programmes for rural folk and school children.
President Sirisena addressing the inaugural meeting further added that when building a good society, a developed country as well as healthy people the main challenge behind is abolishing drugs and added that the programmes implemented by the government to prevent and eradicate drugs has produced good results at national level.
The President pointed out that the significant decrease of cigarette usage in last few years has been a huge achievement in health sector. The President expressed his belief in people’s support on this national endeavour.
Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, John Amaratunga, Thalatha Atukorale, Mahinda Amaraweera, Deputy Ministers Karu Paranawithana, and other ministers, District Secretaries of Ratnapura, Divisional Secretariat, Directors of Education, other civil officers and senior members of security forces were present at this event.