By Saman Indrajith
SJB Gampaha District MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told TMTK MP C.V. Wigneswaran not to try to emulate Velupillai Prabhakaran by making racist statements because he was too old for that.
Participating in the debate on Vote on Account, Field Marshal Fonseka said: “It was sad to observe MP Wigneswaran making a statement undermining other communities. MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, too, supported Wigneswaran’s views. I would like to tell both of them that we consider it as an insult to us by denigrating the motherland in this House and violating the honour of this august assembly. According to Wigneswaran the oldest language in this country is spoken by the Tamil people. That means according to him Sinhala people came to this country after the Tamil people. I would like to remind him that we would never bow our heads to anyone who attempts to undermine the Sinhala nation in this country and any such movement undermining the Sinhala nation would not last long. Wigneswaran must remember that there were people in the past, too, who tried to undermine the status of the Sinhalese. Amirthalingam instigated Tamil youth against Sinhalese and finally he got a bullet from the very same Tamil youth. Then there was Prabhakaran, who thought that they could carve out a separate state in this country. You saw what happened to him. Unfortunately, Wigneswaran cannot be Prabhakaran because he is too old to emulate Prabhakaran.I am telling you to be happy with what you have and never try to undermine the Sinhalese of this country. If you try to do that you’ll face consequences and you’ll repent.”
Participating in the debate Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said: “There is a spree of media reports on controversial statements made by MPs CV Wingeswaran and Selvam Adaikkilanathan. There is an enormous public displeasure against what they had said. There is no need to repeat those racist sentiments. It is sad to notice that MP Adaikkilanathan too made a statement conforming with what MP Wigneswaran said. I request them not to make such inflammatory statements which would pave the way for another communal conflict in this country. We have no need to see a war in this country again. The hope of this government and the President is to create an environment where Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, Malay and other communities live as one nation and each citizen enjoys his or her citizenry rights irrespective of his or her communal identity. We have no hope of favouring any single community or to discriminate against any community. We know that you are making fiery speeches to rouse communal feelings among people in your electorates and to show off as the saviours of your community. But those statements would result in disharmony among communities at a time when these communities are working together.”
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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