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News (Media Awareness Project) - Sri Lanka: Editorial: Containing The Hard Drugs Inflow
Title:Sri Lanka: Editorial: Containing The Hard Drugs Inflow
Published On:2012-01-09
Source:Daily News (Sri Lanka)
Fetched On:2012-01-09 06:04:40
CONTAINING THE HARD DRUGS INFLOW

If hard drugs are continuing to flow into Sri Lanka, the inescapable
conclusion is that there is a considerable demand for them in this
country. This is discomforting news but that is the harsh reality.

The prisons are chockfull of those who have been convicted of
drug-related offences and the news is that there has been no decrease
in the rate of hard drugs-linked detections. In fact, we are given to
understand that last year, 38 kilograms of heroin were seized and
some 14,000 or more persons were arrested in connection with hard
drugs related offences.

Hard drug abuse and related issues constitute a very knotty problem
and unraveling it is unlikely to prove easy on account of its complex
dimensions. However, it is more than two years since the number one
narco-terrorist group, the LTTE, was crushed and one would have
expected a diminishing somewhat of the hard drug abuse problem with
the demise of the Tigers, but this does not seem to be the case.
While, the LTTE was a predominant factor in Sri Lanka-centred drug
trafficking over 25 years or more, since the proceeds from drug sales
were used to replenish LTTE war coffers, there are apparently more
causes, that operate independent of the Tiger war machine, which are
keeping the drug trade going in the South Asian region and outside.

There is a criminal underworld in this country which is closely
bound-up with drug abuse which must be crushed completely if a
substantial dent is to be made in the hard drug issue. This is
already being done by the law enforcement authorities and concerned
sections would like to see a stepping-up of this process. There needs
to be an all out offensive on these drug traffickers and their
backers and it is when the back is broken completely of these
seemingly powerful backers that the drug menace could be stopped in
its tracks a good deal.

We hope some dramatic progress would be made in this direction in the
days ahead. We need to get at the primary factors that feed the drug
blight and unless and until these factors are located and eliminated,
the struggle to stamp out the drug cancer would continue.

This calls for a rigorous law and order approach to the problem. In
the past, the governmental authorities took the fight back to the
criminal underworld in a most decided fashion and this effort must
continue unrelentingly until the drug Mafias and their backers are
completely eliminated. There could be no let-up in the offensive.

Meanwhile, the appeal of hard drugs needs to eliminated from the
hearts and minds of those who are unfortunate enough to come under
their sway. For instance, the young need to be constantly watched
over and protected from the evil and its traffickers.

All vulnerable groups need to be educated and re-educated on the
blight which is hard drug abuse. While schools and educational
institutions should play a lead role in this task, a considerable
part of the responsibility to protect these vulnerable sections
should be shouldered by parents and elders too.

The youngsters are not few in number who consider it 'smart' and
'chic' to sport a glass of liquor and a cigarette in public. If these
injudicious habits go unchecked, the chances are that they would
'graduate' to hard drug abuse. Therefore, the adult world should take
it on itself to guide the youngsters of this country towards healthy
lifestyles by shunning drug abuse and by leading by example. Besides,
the more than ample religious institutions in this land should come
out more openly against drug abuse and ensure that young minds are
filled with only those things that lead to wholesome living.

The problem of hard drug abuse has also international ramifications.
Over the years, Sri Lanka has turned into a virtual transit point for
drug trafficking in this region.

Close geographical proximity of Sri Lanka to notorious manufacturing
centres of these heinous drugs in Asia and to some theatres of war
and conflict which facilitate the drug trade, have proved important
factors in drug trafficking penetrating our borders.

Thus, the menace calls also for a vigorous regional approach for its
elimination. Hopefully, the relevant regional state agencies are
cognizant of these dimensions and are already pooling their resources
and expertise to address the issue. Besides, SAARC should lose no
time in containing the menace, since it embodies the legitimate hopes
and aspirations of this region.
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