‘Mathin Nidhas Ratak’ 9th Phase in Kalutara begins tomorrow

Port and Shipping Minister and Kalutara District Coordination Committee Co-Chairman Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing the media.

The ninth phase of the national program 'Mathin Nidahas Ratak' (A Drug Free Country) covering the Kalutara District will be held tomorrow at Panadura at 9.30 am under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Government Information Department, Port and Shipping Minister and Kalutara District Coordination Committee Co-Chairman Mahinda Samarasinghe said the Mathin Nidahas Ratak was an island wide drug prevention programne carried out under the directive of President Maithripala Sirisena to create a ‘Drug Free Country’. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said this was not a new thing to the President since his attempts and commitments to save the country from drug menace were evident throughout his political carrier. As then Health Minister, the President took a huge effort to eliminate the consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco from Sri Lanka and his work was well received by the World Health Organization (WHO) which awarded him the ‘World No Tobacco Day Award 2013’ for his effort to make tobacco free country.

Addressing the occasion, Director to the President Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention Dr. Samantha Kumara Kithalawaarchchi said the 'Mathin Nidahas Ratak had already covered eight districts including Gampaha, Galle, Kegalle, Colombo, Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, Puttlam and Jaffna.

“From a global perspective, Sri Lanka's per capita alcohol consumption is fairly high and one person in Sri Lanka consumes 3.5 litres of alcohol.

A total of 35 percent of Sri Lanka’s male population consume liquor. Last year the government had to spend Rs 141 billion on treating alcohol related health issues of the people,” he said.

 

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