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China’s new ambassador sounds jubilant on strengthening cooperative partnership

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New Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenhong, upon his arrival yesterday evening said that he intended to promote the strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations and build on the Belt and Road Initiative and other projects to ensure peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region.

Zhenhong arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday evening.

“The minute I landed on the land of Sri Lanka, “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, its beauty, hospitality and kindness have made me feel very touched and heart-warmed. Entrusted by the government and the people of China, I assume my office as the new Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka with deep honour in my heart and great responsibility on my shoulder,” he said issuing a statement.

Zhenhong said that the friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka could be traced back thousands of years, and that the “two countries are strategic cooperative partners based on sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, especially after President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka in 2014, we have seen much achievement in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various areas, and maintained close communication and coordination on international and regional affairs. More recently, the time-tested friendship and trust between our two countries have grown even stronger through the joint fight against COVID-19, which set a great example of foreign relations with sincere friendship and mutual support between different countries,” he said.

The new Ambassador added that he looked forward to working with all colleagues and friends both from China and Sri Lanka.

“Let’s join hands to implement the consensus reached by leaders of our two countries, promote our strategic cooperative partnership, build the Belt and Road Initiative and other cooperation with extensive consultation and joint contribution, so as to bring tangible benefits to our two people and better ensure peace, stability, development and prosperity in this region,” he said.

 

 



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’

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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.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

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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.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered

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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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