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Lanka wants to learn from Chinese CP’s governance experience – President tells Jinping

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told Chinese Leader Xi Jinping that Sri Lanka hoped to learn from the Chinese Communist Party’s governance experience, and especially looked forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation and rural vitalization strategies, during a phone conversation between the two leaders on Monday evening.

The following is the full text of a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy yesterday regarding their conversation: “President Xi Jinping pointed out that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Sri Lanka have pulled together and helped each other, writing a new chapter of China-Sri Lanka friendship. China attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties, and stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to determine the strategic direction and achieve steady growth of the relationship. China will continue to provide as much assistance as its capacity allows for Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19, and seek to gradually carry out cooperation in fields like aviation and education while keeping pandemic control measures in place, and continuously explore new channels and areas of collaboration. China stands ready to steadily push forward major projects like the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, providing robust impetus for Sri Lanka’s post-pandemic economic recovery and sustainable development.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners that enjoy sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship. China will never forget Sri Lanka’s valuable support for the restoration of Beijing’s lawful seat in the United Nations, and is willing to make continuous joint efforts with Sri Lanka to firmly support each other on issues concerning respective core interests, defend our legitimate rights, promote international equity and justice, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka warmly congratulates the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the 100th anniversary of its founding and highly appreciates the historic achievements made by the CPC. Particularly, under President Xi Jinping’s strong leadership, China has made great achievements in economic development and the fight against COVID-19. Sri Lanka thanks China for its valuable support, and is willing to collaborate closely with China to firmly support each other’s positions on issues concerning respective core interests and safeguard our common interests. Sri Lanka hopes to learn from the CPC’s governance experience, and especially looks forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation and rural vitalization strategies. The Sri Lankan side is willing to work with China to expand cooperation in fields like infrastructure and tourism, and smoothly advance major projects such as the Colombo Port City. He is confident that these efforts will boost his country’s economic and social development and bring the Sri Lankan people more benefits.



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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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