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By Harischandra Gunaratna
Western Provincial Councillor and TULF Colombo District candidate at the forthcoming general election, Susil Kindelpiitya yesterday told “The Island” that drug abuse had reached an alarming proportion in the country and in Kolonnawa alone there were 7,000 drug addicts.
Kindelpitiya said it was not a new phenomenon as certain elements attempt to portray, but large scale drug trafficking proliferated in the area during the last two decades with leading politicians engaged in drug dealing at different periods.
The political campaigns of most candidates were funded by drug lords and leaders of mainstream political parties turn a blind eye to it though they shout on political platforms that corrupt and those engaged in unethical practices should not be given nominations, the young politician said.
“These corrupt politicians feather their own nests after being elected and take the voters for a ride without fulfilling the promises they made to the masses”; Kindelpitiya said adding that the trend had to be changed without delay.
“Those who face drug charges are small fries and the sharks get away, one reason being the archaic laws which have to be amended sooner than later,” he said.
“Kolonnawa is the worst hit in Colombo where poverty is concerned and no government has made any sustainable effort to eradicate the drug menace though there had been so much lip service about it and rehabilitation programmes conducted have not been quite effective”, the Western Provincial Councillor said.
The answer to the drug menace was to stop the flow of drugs to the area and rehabilitate the addicts. The post-rehabilitation period was crucial as the drug peddlers and other addicts would always try to drag back the cured ones to the old habits, he said.
Even the present government said in its election manifesto and shouted on political platforms that it would eradicate the drug menace, but it was mere rhetoric, he said.
Kindelpitiya said one of his political ambitions is to eradicate drugs and alleviate poverty in Kolonnawa.