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Current govt, was elected as its policies are sensitive to issues faced by people

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by Saman Indrajith

The current government was sensitive to the issues faced by the public and that was why the people had elected it, State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said in parliament on Friday (21).

Joining the debate on the government policy statement, the MP said that within the next five years the government would develop the country.

“Through its policy statement, our government has addressed all the issues faced by the people and provided solutions to them. The President now has a government which can work with him in implementing his policy statement. During the previous government they selected people for employment based on their height and laughed when the graduates were assaulted. Now, they find it hard to stomach the victory of the government and the productive progress. But, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has devised a plan to provide employment opportunities for graduates irrespective of their political affiliations.”

Semasinghe said that the government had taken steps to provide employment to 61,000 graduates and 100,000 who had failed to get through the Ordinary Level Examination. Accordingly, he said that in total 161,000 would receive state sector jobs.

He said that there was a drinking water shortage in the Anuradhapura District and solutions would be provided very soon and steps taken to ensure that they would also have enough water for agricultural purposes.

The State Minister also assured that solutions would be found to resolve the human-elephant conflict in the Anuradhapura District.

The State Minister assured that the drug menace which plagued the country would be eradicated under the leadership of the President and the Prime Minister.



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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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