Website to track tobacco companies

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By 2017-07-18

By Natasha Siribaddana

The Government is set to launch a website that tracks the activities of tobacco companies with the help of the University of Colombo and the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General Drug Prevention......at the President Office, Dr. Samantha Kithalawaarachchi said yesterday.

The 'Mathin Nidahas Ratak' programme is set to expand further with the consent of President Maithripala Sirisena. An event has been organized for tomorrow (19) to spread the awareness on abuse of drugs around the country.

The event is scheduled to start at 9.30a.m. at the Panadura Municipal Council Grounds.

"Even before Maithripala Sirisena was elected the President, he took action to prevent cigarette over consumption, during his time as the country's Health Minister. The idea of this has been in his mind for a long time. This is why he has been recognized internationally as a great leader. We have to protect the schoolchildren from getting addicted to these drugs because they are our future" Minister of Ports & Shipping, Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

The main objective of this program is to reduce the use of drugs, especially cigarettes among people. The President has already initiated this programme in 8 districts such as, Gampaha, Galle, Kegalle, Colombo, Kurunegala, Nuwara-Eliya, Puttalam and Jaffna.

The programme has already shown progress throughout these years especially in the Kurunegala District. With the help of 14 Provincial Council and 762 village officers (Grama Niladhari) in the Kurunegala District, the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention was able to address 30,000 members of the general public.

The programme is conducted in a way that the provisional council and the village officers should report all the programmes they conduct to the Presidential Task Force of Drug Prevention (PTFDP). Later on, the PTFDP would brief the President about the current situation. Under these small communities the ultimate goal is to develop 'Mathin Nidahas Niwasak', progress to 'Mathin Nidahas Gamak' and finally 'Mathin Nidahas Ratak'.

This event will address all the current problems that they faced in running these programmes. Government employees and schoolchildren who participated in the programme will be rewarded with an official logo.

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