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Sri Lankan religious leaders protest illicit drugs in schools

Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims march in Colombo to express their concern

Published: August 02, 2016 10:15 AM GMT

Updated: August 02, 2016 10:23 AM GMT

Sri Lankan religious leaders protest illicit drugs in schools

Over 3,000 people from religious groups marched in Colombo to protest a rise in drug dealing in Sri Lankan schools.

Protesters marched with hundreds of placards and banners from Ss. Peter and Paul Church at Ragama to Basilica School on July 30.

Among the marchers were Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, auxiliary bishops, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim religious leaders.

Cardinal Ranjith said that it is their collective responsibility to rescue children from drug addiction and to stop any related illegal activity.

"I request everyone that if you learn about any ilicit drug dealing activities in your school you should inform the police without fear," the cardinal said.

Venerable Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkitha, Chief Buddhist monk of Kelaniya Raja Maha Temple, said that education is important in addressing the problem.

"As religious leaders we should lead the children and rescue them from drug dealing by educating them about drug’s harmful consequences," said the Buddhist monk.

According to Sri Lanka’s National Dangerous Drugs and Devices Control Board there are an estimated 45,000 heroin users and around 200,000 cannabis users in the country.

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