Sri Lanka’s top drug dealers are not languishing in jails, but holding high posts in social services organisations such as Lions, Rotary and some Buddhist charities, Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
The outspoken minister noted corruption involving law enforcement as well as the criminal justice system and said what was needed was better enforcement of laws to deal with the drug problem.
“Those who are serving time are not the big drug businessmen. They are only the second level (dealers). The top people are in Lions clubs, Rotary clubs and Buddhist organisations,” the minister said on Friday. “They are the ones who should be arrested.”
He opposed the restoration of capital punishment. He also called for a cleanup of the prisons system following reports that convicts were organising drug imports while being behind bars.
Police had said they detained a consignment of drugs which had been imported by a dealer while serving time at Welikada, “If that is true, the police should arrest the jailers who allowed it,” Samaraweera said.
He opposed restoration of capital punishment, but said anyone convicted of drug-related crime should be locked up for life without the possibility of parole.