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Amendments for stricter enforcement of Mathata Thitha

Amendments to the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Act number 27 of 2006 are to be presented to Parliament by April, this year. Once amended, the Act will enable law enforcement officers to implement `Mathata Thitha’ (Full stop to tobacco and alcohol) policy in all public places especially roads and more vigorously, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said.

According to Minister Sirisena once amended the Act will assist to implement President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s concept Mathata Thitha strictly. At the moment law enforcement officers are unable to take legal action against persons who use alcohol and smoke along public roads because public roads are not included in the list of public places listed in the Act.

The law enforcement officers arrest persons who smoke and use alcohol along roads and road sides but the legal process ends there due to lack of required provisions in the existing law. Minister Sirisena pointed out that the work on new amendments have already been completed and will be presented to Parliament by April this year.

The minister expressed these views after handing over promotions to 1,200 fully-qualified attendants who waited for over 20 years to obtain their due promotions. Over 95 per cent of attendants who sat for the relevant examinations got through and qualified for promotions.

 

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