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Russian House in Colombo hosts parley on women’s contribution towards development of modern society

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A discussion on the contribution of women towards the development of modern society was organized by the Russian House in Colombo to mark International Women’s Day.

The main speakers at the roundtable were the well-known Sri Lankan women activists and influencers of public opinion, Dr. Sulochana Segera, founder and Chairperson of Women in Management, Mrs. Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson, director of the pharmaceutical holding Hemas Holdings PLC (the first female Group CEO of a public quoted conglomerate in Sri Lanka), Dr. Lanka Jayasuriya Dissanayaka, Chairman of the Indira Cancer Trust and many other NGOs and Mrs. Suneetha Wijesooriya, ten-times Sri Lanka chess champion and President of the Anatoly Karpov Chess Club.

The speakers shared their experiences and examples from life in the implementation of initiatives for the organization and work of NGOs aimed at involving women in the main social and economic processes in the country. They noted the fundamental importance of the practice of volunteering, the establishment of networks and mutual support.

“The modern world offers women many opportunities, and in order to realize them, first of all, women themselves must challenge themselves to make coordinated and progressive efforts,” the participants observed.

The guests were also shown a documentary video on the feat of the first woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and a photo exhibition titled “Women of Russia”.

Addressing the audience, the representative of Rossotrudnichestvo office, Anastasia Khokhlova, stressed the relevance of involving women in the processes of civil society.

“I am glad that the Russian House in Colombo has become a platform to discuss this important topic, and I thank the distinguished leaders of public opinion who have joined us today”, she said.

“Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in the world to conquer space, was a Russian. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, a Sri Lankan, was the world’s first woman Prime Minister. Undoubtedly, such remarkable achievements not only indicate the level of development of society, where the role of women is actualized in strategic contexts, but also demonstrate the strength of spirit and similarity of the mentality of the two peoples,” she added.



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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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