Children saved from the jaws of drug dealers
For several months parents of schoolchildren at Katubedde and
Moratuwa were worried about the behaviour of their children. Something
told them that the children were getting hooked on drugs since lately.
But they had no inkling about from where they obtained these potent
drugs for that matter, as the whole thing was shrouded in secrecy.
They had no way of checking that either from local boutiques where
people gossip. Parents also know the boutiques are the nests of gossip
where people talk openly.
However, people are a bit tight lipped discussing about drugs due to
fear of reprisals by drug peddlers in their respective areas. People
know the drug dealers were a vicious lot bent on taking revenge. So the
option available to most parents were to petition the Excise Department
to crack down on the drug menace in their areas.
it became crystal clear to parents that schoolchildren and university
students had become victims of drugs.
The children were dependant on ganja and heroin that have pervaded
their areas. Parents were alarmed and shocked about the plight of their
children, but were helpless at the same time.
They noticed that children showed signs of dizziness and intoxication
when they returned home from school. The children often wobbled and
trembled as if they had caught a bout of flu. They also could not
concentrate on their studies as before. The children were often retired
and they retired to bed early and woke up late.
Meanwhile several parents petitioned the Commissioner General of
Excise, D.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi highlighting the plight of their children.
They wanted him to take stern action to weed out the drug menace in
the katubedde-Moratuwa areas. The parents alleged that toffees (guli)
were sold to schoolchildren that contained ganja (cannabis-sativa) a
destructive and a potent drug. The drug peddlers too knew that
schoolchildren get hooked on it easily.
The children too liked it because they got a kick out of it munching
those toffees. The Commissioner General of Excise, Hapuarachchi after
perusing several petitions instructed the OIC, Excise Station at Kesbewa,
Chief Inspector Rosman Fernando to investigate the petitions and to take
OIC Rosman Fernando detailed a phalanx of Excise officers including
Inspector Chanaka Nanayakkara, Sergeant Sumanapala, Excise Guard Bandara,
Thenuwara, Sameera, Kosala, Rathna and driver Jayantha to set up a trap
and to apprehend suspects involved in the racket.
The Excise men disguised as ordinary civilians proceeded to Katubedde
on a spying mission to gather information. Through their network of
informants they learnt that a trader was behind the racket. His modus
operandi was to sell "Madhana Modhaka guli" toffees to a coterie of
persons at Katubedde. Most of them were drug peddlers who in turn sold
them to schoolchildren. The trader was cautious not to sell them to
outsiders whom he suspected as undercover Police or as Excise agents.
The trader had a code word for the toffees. Drug peddlers had to demand
the Madhana Modaka toffees by saying, "a twenty five piece." It was then
that he dug his fingers into a bowl and dished out the "Madhana-Modaka
Guli" to prospective customers.
After gathering sufficient evidence, the Excise officers laid an
ambush at Katubedde, in close proximity to the boutique and kept an eye
on the boutique. It was around noon, when they noticed a known drug
dealer approaching the boutique. They noticed the guy purchasing toffees
and stuffing them into his pocket.While on his way from the boutique,
the man was searched by Excise officers who found several toffees in his
They tasted the toffees and found it to contain the ganja ingredient.
Thereafter they raided the boutique and found five gungy bags containing
2950 of "Madhana-Modhaka Guli similar to the ones found in the trouser
pocket of the drug dealer.
The boutique keeper was arrested along with the "guli" and was
produced before the Moratuwa Magistrate who imposed a fine of Rs 30,000
after he pleaded guilty to the charges. According to Excise Inspector,
Chanaka Nanayakkara, the Commissioner of Ayurveda can authorise an
indigenous Ayurveda doctor to possess a limited quantity of ganja for
Some indigenous doctors under the umbrage of preparing medicine
misuse them for other purposes. Laymen, however, are not authorised to
possess ganja even in small quantities, he said. Two years ago the
Cental Anti-Vice Striking Force (CAVSF) raided an eight acre cannabis
sativa (ganja) plantation located at Udawalave and uprooted more than
25,000 plants of cannabis sativa (ganja) worth Rs. 8 million and set
them on fire. Police arrested three suspects following the raid.