COLOMBO, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka on Wednesday took a national pledge to eradicate the drug menace in the island country with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and other officials taking oaths to work towards a drug free country.
Government officials and members of the tri forces gathered at the Independence Square in capital Colombo, under the directives of President Sirisena along with hundreds of people for the oath taking ceremony.
The pledge was also live streamed to schools, for students to take part in the oath taking ceremony.
Sirisena said the aim of this national pledge was to achieve economic and social prosperity in Sri Lanka while accomplishing the sustainable development goals.
The president said the illegal drug trade, which had spread like a major menace throughout the island, could not be controlled only through seizing illicit drugs, conducting raids or taking legal action, but the time had also come to eliminate this threat through implementing a broad attitude change.
Sirisena said he will continue to invite all Sri Lankans to take the national pledge to make Sri Lanka a drug free country.
Sri Lanka has in recent months launched a severe crackdown on the illegal drug trade with several drug lords and smugglers taken into custody.
On April 1, under the directives of Sirisena, authorities destroyed 769 kg of cocaine, which the police had seized in island wide raids carried out during the past few years.
The heroin was valued at over Rs.10 billion, an estimated 57 million U.S. dollars.