Parliamentary Bill To "Overrule" Supreme Court Decision On 80% Pictorial Warnings

The Health Ministry of Sri Lanka is now exploring the possibility of presenting a bill to Parliament making it compulsory for cigarette companies to have 80 percent pictorial warnings on cigarette packs.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, addressing a press briefing in Colombo, yesterday stated that he was dissatisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision which allowed 60 percent pictorial warnings on cigarette packs.

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The Health Minister yesterday pledged to continue with his struggle to have 80 percent warnings despite the order given by the country’s apex court.

Speaking to Asian Mirror, a spokesman of the Ministry of Health on the condition of anonymity said the next step would be a Parliamentary bill in this regard. He added that the Ministry is now exploring the possibility of taking this matter before the country’s legislature, seeking 80 percent pictorial warnings on cigarette packs.

When contacted by Asian Mirror, a senior Parliamentarian of the United National Party said they would support any bill that allows 80 percent pictorial warnings.

“We consider this as a matter of national importance and we will extend our fullest support to any effort in this regard. We are of the belief that every Parliamentarian of the house, regardless of their political differences, will support this task,” he added.

The Supreme Court two weeks ago, ordered the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to display pictorial warnings on 60 percent of the surface of a packet of cigarettes with effect from January 01, 2014.


The verdict was delivered by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Justice Sisira J. De Abrew when the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the CTC was taken up for hearing.

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