Sri Lanka National Speech to HLM

Originally, for us, cannabis was not a social problem, though it was used in medicine after the narcotic element was taken out. But by the mid 1980s it was considered a major social problem and led us to establish the narcotic drug control board. International drug control has just completed a century of activity since the inception of international efforts – but there is still an opium war. Since the establishment of incb we have marched a remarkable distance in drug control, widening the scope to include treatment and prevention. Drug abusers are not criminals, drug addiction is a palliative disease from which medical treatment does not answer and we accept therefore that addicts need psychological assistance. The present government recognises the need of drug users and right of drug users for treatment. We commenced a programme for diversion scheme for prisoners who were incarcerated under old regime and we use psycho-social method of counselling. The latest scourge of drugs are synthetic drugs. The laws are in place in sri lanka but we need international help in supporting these laws – all the drugs come into Sri Lanka from outside. Drugs and crime are linked to terrorism and violent crime. Sri Lanka has been fighting against terrorism for 3 decades promoted by Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka seeks to dismantle the links between drugs and the Tamil Tigers.

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