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Japan grants Sri Lanka Rs. 345 million for anti-drug campaign despite human rights concerns

Japan has granted Sri Lanka 345 million Rs. (or 200 million Japanese Yen) in support of the country’s anti-drug campaign, which is headed by the accused war criminal, Kamal Gunaratne.

This statement follows the establishment of a Presidential Task Force (PTF) that provides Sri Lanka officials with a worryingly broad mandate to tackle the drug menace whilst also failing to illustrate clear lines of accountability.

The grant provided by Japan is intended to provide “necessary equipment to strengthen the investigation and detection capacities of drugs and related anti-narcotic activities of Sri Lanka Police”, the Colombo Page reports.

Japan has been supporting Sri Lanka’s police through training programs and sharing its knowledge since 2018. According to the Colombo Page, this grant will provide the Sri Lankan police, a mobile x-ray scanner as well as spectrometers which will analyses drugs and explosives.

Sri Lanka’s war on drugs has widely panned by human rights organisations. Under the Sirisena administration, there were plans to end the 43-year-old moratorium on the death penalty for drug offences and to follow the notorious model set by Philippine’s authoritarian president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Read more from Colombo Page.


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