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
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
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
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.