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Sri Lanka Police chief urged to stop drug smuggling in Mannar

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 September 2004, 13:10 GMT]
Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph Saturday urged Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Indra Silva, to urgently start a special Police division to curb rampant heroin smuggling in the district. Mr.Indra Silva is the first IGP of Sri Lanka to visit Mannar in 30 years. He paid a courtsey call on the Bishop during an official visit to Mannar Saturday. Mannar has emerged as a major transit point for drug smuggling from India to Sri Lanka after Colombo signed a cease fire agreement with the Liberation Tigers in 2002.

rayappu_joseph_1.jpg
Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu
The bishop told IGP Indra Silva that three large quantities of heroin smuggled to Mannar were caught by Police in the last 4-5 weeks.

"The detections were possible because gangs smuggling heroin tipped off the Police against each other out of business rivalry. The detections were not the result of Police investigations. If this is the case, the one can see that undetected heorin smuggling in Mannar must be huge. Therefore Police should form an anti narcotics division in Mannar with modern facilities and sniffer dogs to systematically investigate and detect drug smuggling here", Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph told the IGP.

Liberation Tigers launched a concerted drive to eradicate drug abuse in Mannar last year.

Mr. Indra De Silva, IGP
IGP, Mr. Indra De Silva
The Bishop drew the IGP's attention to the fact that most Police officers in Mannar do not know Tamil. He asked the IGP to appoint more Tamil Police officers to Mannar to ease problems faced by people in their dealings with the Police.

IGP Indra Silva visited Vavuniya earlier in the day. Speaking at Vavuniya Police headquarters he said that Sri Lanka Police was largely deployed to fight the war against the Liberation Tigers after 1978.

They are now being trained in civil duties too, the IGP said.

 

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