Although Sri Lanka is said to be the pearl of the Indian Ocean, it has actually become a transshipment centre for narcotics, said SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne.

In 2005, the UN South Asia regional profile report said that for the past decades Sri Lanka has been used as the transshipment point for heroin from South west Asia, India and other destinations outside the sub-continent, he said.

Most significant drug problem is trafficking of heroin from India for local consumption.

It was debated that some powerful politicians are behind and involved in drug trafficking which handicapped combatting the drug menace, the MP said.

Wickramaratne was speaking on the debate on Regulations issued under the Poison, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance in Parliament.

He also drew attention to the issues raised during the visit of Patali Champika Ranawaka MP to Welikada prison this week.

He pointed out that there are 5000 drug related inmates, whereas it can accommodate 800 inmates only.

The MP mentioned that he visited the Weerawila Open Prison about a month ago and was able to observe that the prison camp was being managed properly.

Most of the inmates among 450 inmates were convicted of drug offenses.

“We don’t need any facility for this Weerawila open air prison, but if you can, the head of the Weerawila prison has requested that you stop the smuggling of drugs into this country, then the rest of the drug menace could be easily eradicated”, he said.

The MP said that through this request, it was observed that the head of the prison directly placed the responsibility of transporting drugs into the country on the politicians and emphasized that the solution to the drug menace in the country also lies with the politicians.

He urged that if the politicians fulfil their responsibilities to save the country from the menace of drugs, there is a tendency to solve the problems in other places.

Wickramaratne mentioned that the reports of the United Nations proves that Sri Lanka has not only become a drug transshipping centre but also a final destination and transit point for drugs.



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