Fully implement NATA Act, says CJ
Chief Justice Asoka de Silva said the National Authority on Tobacco
and Alcohol (NATA) Act should be implemented fully to protect public
He said that this is the only Act in the world that covers both
tobacco and alcohol. He was speaking at a workshop for judicial officers
titled Judicial Colloquium on the NATA Act jointly organized by NATA,
the Judges Training Institute (JTI), Justice Ministry and the UNICEF
held on December 4 at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. This workshop is
the third in the series designed to familiarize the judicial officers
with the NATA Act No 27 of 2006. Chief Justice de Silva delivering the
keynote address identified numerous social and economic consequences
that have arisen as a result of tobacco becoming a commercial venture.
He said that in the early years when the Dutch introduced tobacco
cultivation to the country, the people in the North where tobacco
cultivation initially took place, resented it and did not co-operate.
This required the importation of labour from South India, he said.
The Chief Justice pointed out that "this workshop is important now we,
as a country, have come to a stage of moving away from tobacco and
alcohol." JTI Director Justice Nissanka Udalagama emphasized that as the
NATA Act is the law of the country, judicial officers must implement it
in full. NATA Chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka Additional Solicitor General
Palitha Fernando, Colombo University Psychiatry Professor Prof Diyanath
Samarasinghe and NATA Consultant Dr Sajeewa Ranaweera also spoke.