14th January 2019 22:00:21 Hours
Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention considering the Sri Lanka Army as the best messenger for prevention and eradication of dangerous drugs, now a national priority, seeks the Army assistance to spearhead a full-pledged propaganda ‘war’ against drugs through 6312 island-wide schools.
Intending to map out modalities pertaining to this national campaign which has also received the blessings of HE the President, a team of top-level officials of the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention met the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake this afternoon (14) at the Army Headquarters. The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention team was comprised of Dr Samantha Kumara Kithalawaarachchi, Director, Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention and Mr Sudarshana Peiris, Additional Education Director, Ministry of Education and Major Jayampathi Ponweera.
The proposed modus operandi expects all island-wide SFHQs, Divisions, Brigades and all formations of the Army to reach out to each and every government school in their respective areas of responsibility and distribute a handbill on dangers of those drugs to every student after delivery of an informative lecture by a professionally-trained Army representative during an assembly of students in each school.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake extending his whole-hearted cooperation to the timely project positively responded and directed the Directorate of Psychological Operations, Directorate of Operations and Directorate of Media of the Army to immediately summon a conference of all island-wide Senior Officers to discuss practical arrangements to this effect within next 2 - 3 days.
Adding a visionary contribution to the project, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake suggested the cream of the student population in each school could be further utilized to give leadership to this scheme. “Potential of school prefects, cadets, scouts, monitors and outstanding students can be tapped in this regard and those categories could be adequately trained to sustain this awareness within each school premises either on weekly basis or otherwise since they are the close acquaintances of their classmates or student community”, the Commander opined.
At the same occasion, the Commander wanted all professionally-trained Officers, Lady Officers, Senior Non Commissioned Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, Woman soldiers and Other Ranks to be ready at short notice to provide their instructional knowledge to schools as decided by the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention and the Ministry of Education.
Discussions at the Commander’s Office were also attended by Brigadier M.M Kithsiri, Director, Psychological Operations, Colonel Dinesh Udugama, Colonel General Staff, Directorate of Operations and Colonel Priyantha Kariyawasam, Colonel Media, Directorate of Media.