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MP Rasamanickam paints Chinese as bogeymen

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By Saman Indrajith

Batticaloa District TNA MP Shanakiyan Rajaputhiran Rasamanickam told Parliament on Saturday that it was the Chinese the Sinhalese, we should be afraid of and not the Tamils or the Muslims.

“Since the government is working hard to create bogeymen out of Tamils and Muslims, the Sinhalese are not able to see the real picture,” MP Rasamanickam said, participating in the third reading debate on Budget 2021.

“On 29th of the last month, we had a festival of lights. Police went and disrupted it. Why? Because the government wants to create a non-existing problem and get the majority to think that they are busy working for the Sinhalese’ cause. The government does so because it cannot deliver its promises on development.  They create unnecessary problems and get behind the cover of those problems.  I feel sorry for the plight of the Sinhalese people who have been made into a gullible lot by their own politicians. This is the Sinhala country and its majority of people are Sinhala. They are made to hate other communities. That attitude has been created by their political leaders. For example, yesterday MP Ponnambalam spoke and Sinhala ministers spoke against him and, therefore, the people today talk only of those debates and arguments on the racial lines. You are creating an issue because you cannot run the country properly.”

The MP said that the issue in Sri Lanka was not about Tamils or Muslims, but about the Chinese and the Sinhalese community must understand it. “You have to worry about Chinese investments. China is investing heavily in ports. Do you want to be another Pakistan? Do you want to be another Laos? We are getting into a Chinese debt trap. Go and tell the people that truth. If you are so strong and gutsy tell the people the truth. The Chinese are investing here, but tell me the number of jobs the Chinese have created in this country? None, because the Chinese invest here and bring their countrymen to work on the projects they invest in and so they take the money they gave and take it back. Do you think that they build port cities out of their love toward us? It is being built because they want a base in South Asia in the Indian Ocean, not because they love this country.”



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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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