The Indian consulate in Jaffna in the future will regularly interact with media persons in Jaffna, the Indian High Commission has said in a media statement on Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay’s visit to Northern and Eastern Provinces.
On the second day of his visit, the High Commissioner met with a few prominent media persons over a luncheon hosted by the Consul General of India in Jaffna. In this meeting those gathered spoke of the significance of freedom of speech and expression for democracy.
“The suggestion to establish a platform for regular interaction of media with the Consulate was welcomed,” the High Commission said.
On the same day the High Commissioner met the Mayor of Jaffna V. Manivannan and visited the Jaffna Cultural Centre, built under India’s grant assistance.
“The building, whose design celebrates close architectural and cultural links with India, is intended to serve as a people – centric hub of cultural activities that reinforce civilization heritage and cross-Strait ties. Discussions of the High Commissioner at the Centre included various aspects of its functioning under joint management after early inauguration,” the press release said.
The High Commissioner also spoke to Jaffna businesspersons on promoting investment from India in infrastructure, energy and manufacturing, skills development, agriculture and food processing, fisheries and tourism.
“The High Commissioner reiterated India’s readiness to support all such mutually beneficial initiatives. He emphasized that enhancing sea and air connectivity, through development of the KKS Harbour and expansion of the Palaly airport will bring greater economic benefits and prosperity to the region,” the High Commission said.
The day High Commissioner and Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Priyantha Perera, and other senior Officers of Sri Lanka Army also paid homage to the India Army soldiers who died in Sri Lanka after the Indo – Sri Lanka Peace Accord was signed, “for the cause of peace in Sri Lanka.”
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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