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President Maithripala Sirisena says he would enforce strict laws from January 1, 2016 to prevent use of polythene which is a major threat to the environment and the health of the people.

He added he would totally ban the production of polythene from January 1, 2018.

The President made these remarks at a ceremony held today (Aug. 29) at the President’s House in Kandy to present certificates to the school children in Kandy District for the environmental service program.

President Sirisena recalled that he made plans to ban the use of polythene and prevent import of asbestos, during his time as the Health Minister. “But it was not possible to implement them”, he said.

“But, today everybody is supporting that program. Those decisions will be put into action without bowing down to any private company or institution. They will be operated for the betterment of the country and the people”, the President said.

The President, emphasizing the importance of protecting the environment recalled that there is no other philosopher than the Lord Buddha who spoke about the value of the environment. Therefore, everybody has the responsibility to protect the environment as Buddhist people who follow the path of the Buddha.

The environmental service program was organized for the 12th time by the Central Environmental Authority and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.

Environmental pilots who contributed the environmental service were felicitated at this occasion. The President presented awards and presents to the school children and principals, contributed the program.

The souvenir of environmental service which is offered to the sacred tooth relic was presented to the President by the Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Prof. Lal Mervyn Dharmasiri.

The book titled “Pujaniya Dalada Sanskruthiya’ (Sacred Tooth Relic Culture) and the project report of the preservation of Kadolana were presented to the President by Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake.

Governor of the Central Province Surangani Ellawala, Mr. Lakshaman Kiriella, Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon and the mayor Mahendra Ratwatte were also participated in this occasion.

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