President invites Filipino drug experts to Lanka
Posted on January 20th, 2019

By Manolo B. Jara Courtesy Gulf Today

MANILA: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday invited Philippine drug war experts to visit his country and share their experiences with their counterparts apparently to help them in their own campaign against drugs.

I would like to invite some experts from your side to visit Sri Lanka when possible. My government will make all the necessary arrangements,” Sirisena told officers when he visited the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in surburban Quezon City, Metro Manila.

The experiences you have gained and the knowledge that you can share with Sri Lanka,” he said, will be highly instrumental in our fight against drugs.” Director General Oscar Albayalde, the PNP chief, later confirmed Sirisena’s invitation during his visit to the police headquarters where he was given a briefing on the country’s violent war on illegal drugs launched by President Rodrigo Rody” Duterte in June 2016.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also reported that the PNP visit marked the last of Sirena’s five-day visit state to the Philippines which ended on Saturday and where he and Duterte witnessed at Malacanang Palace the signing of five agreements, among others, on defence, education, tourism and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

But more than that, Sirisena created a stir when he called Duterte’s war on drugs an example to the world.” During a state dinner at Malacanang hosted by Duterte in his honour late on Wednesday night, the visiting leader said Sri Lanka should follow the Philippines crackdown on narcotics to address its own drug problem.

Excellency, the war against crime and drugs carried out by you is an example to the whole world and personally to me. Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow in your footsteps to control this hazard,” Sirisena said in his toast.

Sirisena, who like Duterte was also accused of being a dictator, praised the Phippine leader for leading his nation on a road to prosperity, sustaining economic growth, launching and building critical infrastructure.” One of the first to protest was the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) which has been sharpy critical on Duterte’s war on drugs for alleged rampant human rights violations particularly extra judicial killings blamed to vigilante groups reportedly with links to police and other law enforcers.

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