President says main cause for poverty is the use of drugs

President says main cause for poverty is the use of drugs

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President Maithripala Sirisena has pointed out that liquor and drugs are major issues when talking about poverty within the country. The President called for the support of everyone in strengthening the Drug Abuse National programme.
The President made these observations at Embilipitiya today at the launch of the first in a series of the ‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme implemented under the “Mathin Nidahas Ratak” National programme. The launch of the first in a series of the ‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme implemented under the “Mathin Nidahas Ratak” National programme commenced at the Mahaweli Grounds in Embilipitiya this morning under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena after multi religious observances. Many school children presented various events themed “Mathin Nidahas Ratak” at the programme mooted with the coordination of Ratnapura District Secretary Malini Lokupothagama.
Natsound
Delivering the welcome address at the launch of the programme the Ratnapura District Secretary said that based on the information gathered through the drugs prevention rural Committees, the total expenditure incurred on drugs within her District is 3809 million rupees monthly. Accordingly a single day’s expenditure works out to nearly 130 million rupees. As such she said that it is most valuable that the Ratnapura District has been selected for the commencement of the ‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme launched under the guidance of the President.
‘Gama Hada Gamu’ rural programme implemented with the intention of soliciting the contribution of the rural fraternity for the establishment of a peaceful Sri Lankan society is already in place in all villages.
President Maithripala Sirisena thereafter addressing the gathering said that due to the focus on eliminating the spread of illegal narcotics in the country, the legal use of alcohol and tobacco cannot be prevented at the outset.
The President stated the value of alcohol and tobacco used in the Colombo District alone within a single month, amounts to 7 billion rupees. However the Head of State noted the issuance of circulars alone cannot impede this state of affairs.
Speaking further on drug awareness, the President said the government will seek the support of all stakeholders to develop new strategies to fight the drug menace. He mentioned that he was once asked why many drug awareness programs had to be conducted when alcohol and cigarettes could be banned instead.
The President stressed if legal drugs were banned people would illegally attempt to produce substitute drugs. President Maithripala Sirisena noted no matter how many programs, circulars, advice, orders and policies are issued, what is most effective is not the programs but that every citizen understands and carries out their duties.