Sri Lanka is considering establishing an International Centre on Narcotics to share information on drug smuggling and related incidents as Sri Lanka has lately become a drug transporting hub, the Chairman of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Prof. Ravindra Fernando said today.
Addressing a news conference held in Colombo today to announce the celebration of International Anti-Narcotics Day, Professor Fernando said Sri Lanka had sought the assistance of several Asian countries to establish a center in Sri Lanka since Sri Lanka has become an international hub for the distribution of drugs.
He said according to information received, most of the drugs seized in Sri Lanka is not for local consumption but to ship to European countries.
According to the Chairman, although the numbers are not exact, there are about 40 – 50,000 heroin addicts in Sri Lanka while about 200,000 people are addicted to cannabis. About 1000 to 2000 people are getting addicted to drugs annually, he said adding that they are being rehabilitated in NDDCB rehabilitation centers in Kandy, Colombo, Galle, Nittambuwa and Piliyandala.
Prof. Fernando said the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, will be celebrated at the Foundation Institute with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena.
The new national policy for the prevention and control of drug abuse will be handed over to the President, and the officials of the police, three armed forces and the Customs who contributed to the prevention of drug smuggling would be recognized at the ceremony.
Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order and Southern Development Jagath Wijeweera, who joined the news conference said a massive program is already in place for the elimination of drugs from the country and the program should be further strengthened.