Lanka Change Makers has launched a campaign against the drug methamphetamine, or Ice, that is fast becoming a menace to society.
It is titled ‘Ice diyakaramu’, or let’s dissolve Ice.
Holding a media briefing yesterday (22) at the Radical Centre in Colombo, activists explained their plans of action that go beyond criticism and create solutions to drugs and other socioeconomic and cultural issues.
With claims that Ice is gaining a tight hold on schoolchildren, a crackdown by the police targets schools and their surroundings.
However, questions have arisen if schoolchildren have actually become addicted to this drug and also if checking their bags will help its curbing.
Sithara Kularatne of the women’s movement for freedom said rather than taking measures at school level, drug dealers as well as policemen and politicians who support them should be arrested and brought before the law.
Executive director of Alcohol and Drug Information Centre Pubudu Sumanasekara said they have noticed an organized attempt to lure youths and schoolchildren to drugs.
But, the issue is not as serious as it claims to be, he insisted.
A senior police official involved in drug investigations too, ruled out large scale addiction among university students and schoolchildren.
Ruling MP Namal Rajapaksa has claimed on facebook that according to statistics, over one million adolescents have used at least one form of illegal substance.
These are not alarming, he said, and urged religious leaders, social media influencers and public figures to use their voices and platforms to create more awareness.
His claim however has mostly been ridiculed and opposed.
Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa too, has spoken against checking bags of schoolchildren for drugs, while unionist Duminda Nagamuwa said that was happening as drug smugglers have become MPs and ministers.
The government plans to form a presidential task force to prevent the use of dangerous drugs.
At a meeting on December 19, officials also discussed rehabilitation of drug addicts and strengthening the agencies involved.