JVP National Organiser former MP Bimal Ratnayake addressing the press yesterday
By Saman Indrajith
Those who question the JVP how Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim, a key suspect over the Easter Sunday bombings was on the JVP’s National List at the August 2105 parliamentary election, should first question the Mahinda Rajapaksa government why it paid salaries of 21 terror suspects, including Zahran Hashim, from 2010 to 2015, JVP National Organiser and former MP Bimal Ratnayake said yesterday.
Addressing the media at their Party Headquarters in Pelawatte, the former MP said: “It has been accepted in many forums now, Zahran and 21 others in his terror outfit were on the payroll of the government from 2010 to 2015. It was the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Those who want to record our statements on how Ibrahim Hajjiar became one of our national list candidates, should come to question us after questioning Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ibrahim Hajjiar was a businessman who had been awarded and felicitated by Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hajjiar became a National List candidate of the JVP. In addition, a large number of ministers of that government gave awards and accolades and honorary titles to Ibrahim Hajjiar. He had also been given a Justice of the Peace post covering the entire country. Those accolades and honorary titles and social recognition too made us place Ibrahim Hajjiar on the National List.”
The MP said that the presidential Commission of Inquiry on Easter Sunday had been in existence for a considerable time and the commission should have summoned the JVP leaders if it had wanted to know information on how and why Ibrahim was included in the national list for the general election 2015.
“There was no such inquiry or asking us for the reasons then, but now some ministers of the government go around the country telling the media that they want to question us on our links to Ibrahim. Let them come and question us but we hope that they would first question those who paid Zahran and his group.”
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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