Sri Lanka: Menace of Surging Drug Addiction

In this battle for the nation's survival, a multi-layered approach emerges as the only recourse.

1 min read
Colombo, Sri Lanka [Samithu Siriwardana/ Unsplash]


Intemperance is the child of folly, and the parent of misery – Dr. Isaac Barrow

The appalling revelation of over 1.1 million drug addicts in the Colombo District alone, with thousands ensnared by hard drugs, paints a chilling portrait of a society in the grip of an addiction epidemic. IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon’s acknowledgment serves as a stark reminder of the dire consequences, exposing the grave threats to public safety and the alarming surge in criminal activities. This insidious alliance between addiction and crime has become a breeding ground for drug peddlers, plunging Colombo into a state of lawlessness.

In Sri Lanka, the menace of drug trafficking looms ominously, fueled by global crises and technological advancements that have reshaped the illicit trade landscape. Organized crime syndicates capitalize shamelessly on digital platforms to push narcotics, exploiting the vulnerabilities of local communities and brazenly eluding law enforcement scrutiny. The socio-economic upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by economic instability and internal displacement, has created a fertile breeding ground for the unchecked proliferation of drug trafficking activities.

Amidst this grim reality, a resolute call for action echoes across the nation, demanding a unified and unflinching response from all segments of society. The time for complacency and duplicity at the expense of our future generations for financial gain is over. The very soul of our nation hangs in the balance, teetering on the brink of demise in the face of this grave threat.

In this battle for the nation’s survival, a multi-layered approach emerges as the only recourse. While law enforcement operations like Operation Yukthiya aim to dismantle drug networks, the indispensable role of rehabilitation cannot be overstated. Every individual ensnared by addiction must be viewed not as a mere perpetrator but as a soul in dire need of compassion and intervention. Here lies the pivotal role of religious institutions, called upon to transcend divisive politics and embrace their sacred duty to uplift society.

Furthermore, the urgent cry for systemic reforms reverberates louder than ever. The endemic corruption corroding the legal system, evident in the shocking transformation of seized drugs into harmless substances, perpetuates a cycle of impunity for drug traffickers. Immediate and decisive measures must be taken to purge the judiciary of this cancer, ensuring swift and unwavering justice. Moreover, the festering collusion between the privileged elite and drug syndicates must be met with resolute resolve, backed by stringent legal action.

The battle against drug addiction and trafficking demands a united front, comprising robust law enforcement, compassionate rehabilitation, systemic reform, and steadfast societal vigilance. Only through collective determination and genuine commitment can we vanquish the specter of drugs, forging a path towards a safer and more prosperous future for all our citizens. The time to act is now, for the fate of our nation hangs in the balance.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email:

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