Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a state visit to the Philippines, praised President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs as ‘an example to the whole world.’ The two men said that tough campaigns against drugs can bring greater stability to their nations.
‘We both recognized that the proliferation of illegal drugs is a threat to our nations and peoples and to the very fabric of our growing societies,’ Duterte said at a joint press conference on Wednesday.
Duterte said the Philippines and Sri Lanka have common challenges, shared interests and are ‘united by our desire to provide greater peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples.’ ‘The war against crime and drugs carried out by you is an example to the whole world and personally to me,’ Sirisena said during the state dinner hosted by Duterte.
‘Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard,’ he added.
Duterte's war on drugs has killed 5,050 drug dealers and addicts, Philippine authorities say, and has been criticized by human rights groups and some world leaders.
The International Criminal Court is carrying out a preliminary investigation into his drug war for alleged crimes against humanity.
Sirisena has previously said that the Philippines has been successful in dealing with the drug problem. He has backed capital punishment and deployment of the military to tackle illegal drugs in his country.
The two leaders also discussed strengthening their engagement in trade, agriculture, tourism, education and defence.
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