By Norman Palihawadane
Sri Lankan Catholics have been requested to attend Sunday church service countrywide on March 7, dressed in black as a sign protest against the failure to apprehend the real culprits of the Easter Sunday carnage by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry.
Rev. Fr. Victor Jayamanne, Parish Priest of Dalugama Church said that the decision to conduct the protest had been taken with the concurrence of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka and Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.
The Bishops’ Conference has decided to launch a series of countrywide protests seeking justice for the victims of the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
A special prayer printed on cards was distributed among the Catholics who attended yesterday’s services. They were asked to bring the card to the services next Sunday and pray for devine intervention to have justice served, Fr. Jayamanne said.
The prayer reads: “Almighty Father, God of Truth and Justice, we firmly believe that You never forsake your flock in the face of trials and tribulations. Immolated on the Cross, You have manifested your fathomless love for us.
Look with compassion on your children who are experiencing the bitter consequences of the horrendous terrorist attack on Easter Sunday of 2019. Lend Your ear to the earnest supplication of those, who through their tears, plead with You that the full and complete truth behind this bloodshed be made known. Just as the blood of Abel cried out to You for justice, the blood of our brothers and sisters, the Easter bomb victims, now cry out to You for truth and justice.
Guide our civil leaders to conduct all investigations impartially and with transparency. Protect our beloved motherland and our people that no such devastation would befall us again.
Mary, our Heavenly Mother you have always journeyed with us and consoled us, strengthening us with new hope in times of grief and despair. Hasten to intercede on our behalf before God, our Father in this moment of darkness and pain.
We make this prayer through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”
Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’
By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam
The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.
Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.
A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.
The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.
According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.
The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.
DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.
PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners
By Norman Palihawadane
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.
Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.
The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”
Thilo Hoffman remembered
A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.
Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.
The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.
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