Aug 30, Colombo: Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake says a special anti-narcotic force has been created to curb the international narcotic trade in Sri Lanka.
Minister Sagala Ratnayake told a media briefing that Sri Lanka had become a transit point for mass scale drug trafficking by major drug cartels due to the prolonged illicit activities of the Tamil Tiger rebels.
"We have a responsibility to the nation, to the region and to the world to stop these activities," he said adding that Sri Lanka hopes to carry out programs with international assistance to eradicate the menace.
He said Sri Lanka was always a transit point and the LTTE used to smuggle drugs and weapons to fund their war while their illegal transactions took place in the North. Although the war is over and the LTTE is no longer in existence, residual parties continued to conduct drug trafficking and world drug cartels still operate.
The Minister pointed out that Sri Lanka is located strategically for major drug cartels to utilize as a transit hub and some of the narcotics that pass through Sri Lanka remains in the country.
"We are fighting this on two angles. One is our responsibility to the region and the world and also to ensure that there are no drugs in Sri Lana. We are going to fight both very hard," he said.
The Minister said Sri Lanka is working very closely with the countries in the region to eradicate the drug trade and also within Sri Lanka, a new police unit called Organized Crime and Narcotics Range, has been created.
The unit is headed by a senior DIG and he has been given a very talented team to work on the task, the Minister added.
The Minister said the Sri Lankan government, officials and security forces were committed to preventing drugs from entering the country and called on countries in the region to work in unity to eradicate the drug menace.