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* Attacks on judiciary and independent commissions will weaken war on drugs - PM
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 11:13 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 12, Colombo: Criticizing independent commissions as well as attacking the independent judiciary will weaken the control and eradication of narcotics, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today (12).

Speaking at event in Maligawatte today, the Premier said bankrupt politicians cannot be allowed to use the judiciary as a "football" and if they come to parliament and make baseless statements the people will ultimately suffer the consequences.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the ceremony held to open the second phase of the Lak Hiru Sevana housing scheme in Maligawatte.

Addressing the gathering, the Premier pointed out that the government has only controlled the drug menace, not eradicated.

"When baseless statements are made in parliament, people will suffer. We have only controlled illicit drugs, not eradicated. Should we continue or should we abandon the program," he questioned.

The Premier said when the drug problem got critical in the past, he called the top police officers in 2015 or 2016 and asked whether to allocate more funds from the budget. The police officers have replied that the money is not a problem but they need an independent and a trustworthy judiciary.

"They (police officers) asked me not to allow parliamentarians to interfere in the affairs of the police if the drug problem needs to be resolved. The officers asked not to allow the controlling and interferences that had arisen during the last administration again. They said not to start a drug control campaign while their eyes were blindfolded and hands were tied," the Prime Minister recalled.

High-ranking police officers thought it would be possible to control drugs if independent commissions are functioning properly.

"The establishment of the Independent Commissions has created confidence among the police. The judiciary also took decisions with a straight backbone. The control of narcotics was accelerated because of the independent commissions that we have set up," the Premier said.

At the occasion today, the Prime Minister vested 384 housing units of the Lak Hiru Sevana project built at a cost of Rs. 1.536 billion with the public.

The Government launched this project with the aim of relocating of households presently located in undeserved settlements in the city of Colombo.

This housing scheme was constructed under the Urban Regeneration Program by the Urban Development Authority with the guidance of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. The new housing units were commissioned under the 2nd phase of the authority’s project of rejuvenation of urban areas.

Each housing unit consists of two bed rooms, one living room, kitchen, balcony and a bathroom. The housing scheme is also equipped with elevators, community halls and other amenities.

Under the 1st phase of the Lak Hiru Sevana project 192 housing units were vested with the public in June 2017.


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