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Government Gazette

Combatting the drug menace

The avowed goal of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a drug free Sri Lanka by the year 2015 no doubt would receive the whole hearted support of all right thinking persons in this country which had over the years been buffeted by a problem that was equally damaging as the cancer of terrorism.

Launching the District Tobacco Control Cells program at Temple Trees on Friday President Rajapaksa referred to his Mahinda Chintana Presidential manifesto where the eradication of the drug menace ranked number one position even above ‘achieving peace with dignity’ which occupied the 13th chapter.

This is understandable since no peace can be achieved by the eradication of terrorism alone. Peace also encompasses peace in the social order and in the family unit. How many families today have been riven asunder by alcohol and drug abuse?

The loss of a young son hooked on drugs is as heartbreaking to a family as the loss of that son mowed down by a terrorist bullet.

Hence the President’s determination to wipe out the drug menace with same momentum he applied to eradicate terrorism. To begin with the President is keen to have an army of youth who will be equal to the task in the nation building process.

That is why he rightly declared that saving the country’s youth from the perils of the drug menace as his next ‘humanitarian’ mission, following the success of the earlier one in which the nation triumphed over terrorism. “I will be dedicated to the task of totally eradicating the drug menace from Sri Lanka as pledged in my election manifesto the Mahinda Chintana,” he said.

The President no doubt is aware of what damage the drug problem could inflict on society at large. Tackling this problem no doubt will be his next mission. He is aware that the hard won battle to eradicate terrorism would not be of much use if this is squandered away in the form of a drug dependent degenerate youth population.

His oft repeated dream of building a nation with youth participation will be brought to nought if the ensuing battle is not pursued in earnest as the successful one just concluded.

He no doubt has touched the core of the issue at stake. For it is the youth who will have to carry the mantle of a progressive and prosperous future of Sri Lanka now that the war had ended and everything possible needs to be done to build a robust and healthy youth corps to undertake this gigantic task.

Winning the war was only half the battle won. Much more has to be done to get the nation on it’s feet after the three decade long battering it received at the hands of terrorism. The youth of this country are the torch bearers in this onerous task.

Therefore the President has taken upon himself the duty to remove all obstacles and impediments that stand in the way of the country’s youth population so that they would up the task that will be entrusted to them.

As Commander-in-Chief who saw though the successful conclusion of the war, he is now determined to take command of the next phase of the war - to see through the end to the drug menace that has bedevilled and blighted our nation and has had equally damaging consequences as terrorism itself.

Just as terrorism debilitated the economy and ate into the vitals of the state the drug menace too has had a telling impact both on the economy and the country’s social fabric over the years.

Hence President Rajapaksa should be commended as the only leader who had expressly vowed to tackle the drug menace and set a target date for it’s complete eradication. It is hoped hat he will receive the support and cooperation of all segments to achieve this noble goal.

Dismantling global terror

The Government has acted prudently is canvassing international support to dismantle the LTTE ‘s support network which is still largely in tact.

Addressing a high level security forum in Singapore Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has pointed out that many of the Tiger operatives have cultivated powerful political lobbies in certain capitals with a view to resurrecting the LTTE.

He said “it is important for the international community to take all measures to assist the Government of Sri Lanka to track down the global network of the LTTE”.

It is natural in the aftermath of the annihilation of the LTTE for complacency to creep in. This has been the bane of all governments of the past.

Therefore the stand taken by the Government not to drop it’s guard even after the eradication of the LTTE shows it has deviated from the past practices and is determined not to let the outfit raise it’s head again. The check points, the security barriers and other infrastructure still in place shows the Government has approached the subject in a professional manner.

Not stopping at that it is also determined to penetrate the global network of the outfit to ensure once and for all that the requiem is sung for the LTTE.

In this task the Government would need to cultivate the support of not just friendly nations but also the hostile West which is still smarting under humiliation of being shown by the Sri Lankan Forces how to fight and conquer terrorism.

Winning counter insurgency campaigns

A Sri Lankan perspective:

Armchair critics and sceptics who doubted the firm resolve and strength of our brave Armed Forces to defeat the so-called ‘invincible’ might of the LTTE have been effectively silenced today, just as much as the guns.

Full Story

Sri Lanka ahead in rural electricity supply

The LTTE was militarily defeated and the nation freed from three decades of LTTE terror due to great sacrifice made by our valiant soldiers in the battlefield. Therefore, we should extend our gratitude to the President, Defence Secretary, Commanders of three Armed Forces and valiant soldiers towards the great attempts made to totally eradicate LTTE terrorism from Sri Lankan soil

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Traumatic experiences of Tiger child soldiers

I’m only 16. They gave me a rifle. It was heavy. They said we had to go forward. If we came back, they would shoot us’Tamil children as young as 11 were forced at gunpoint to fight for the Tigers in Sri Lanka’s civil war. Survivors talked of their ordeal to Gethin Chamberlain in Ambepusse.

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