Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena says he would enforce strict laws from January 1, 2016 to minimise the use of polythene which is a major threat to the environment and the health of people.
The president said he would also take measures to totally ban the production and importation of asbestos in 2018, ColomboPage online newspaper reported.
He made these remarks at a ceremony held yesterday at the President’s House in Kandy to honour the school children and teachers in Kandy District for an environmental service programme.
President Sirisena recalled that he made plans to ban the use of polythene and prevent import of asbestos, during his time as the Health Minister. “But it was not possible to implement them”, he said.
“But, today everybody is supporting that programme. Those decisions will be put into action without bowing down to any private company or institution. They will be operated for the betterment of the country and the people”, the president said.
The president, emphasising the importance of protecting the environment recalled that there is no other philosopher than Buddha, who spoke about the value of the environment. Therefore, everybody has the responsibility to protect the environment as Buddhists who follow the path of the Buddha.
The ‘Parisara Sathkaraka’ environmental service programme was organised for the 12th time by the Central Environmental Authority and the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Environmental pilots who contributed to the environmental service were felicitated on the occasion. The president presented awards and presents to the school children and principals who contributed to the programme. The souvenir of environmental service which is offered to the sacred tooth relic was presented to the president by the Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Prof. Lal Mervyn Dharmasiri.
The book titled, “Pujaniya Dalada Sanskruthiya’ (Sacred Tooth Relic Culture) and the project report of the preservation of Kadolana were presented to the President by Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake.

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