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Sampayo further remanded

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Image grabbed from video footage of Sampayo speaking to the media on Sunday at Kurunegala

Superintendent of the Negombo Prison Anuruddha Sampayo, who was produced in the Negombo Magistrates’ Court yesterday by the CID, was further remanded till August 18 by Negombo Acting Magistrate K.G. Gunadasa.

Sampayo was arrested on Sunday following his surrender.

Sampayo has been interdicted for various malpractices in the Negombo prison. Earlier this year the CID launched an investigation into various malpractices at the Negombo Prison.

As a part of the investigation in February 2020, the Department of Prisons carried out a raid and found 66 grams of heroin, 11 grams of cannabis, 414 cigarettes, 400 grams of tobacco, eight mobile phones, 17 SIMs, 12 hands-free devices, eight Chargers and two card-readers in the L Ward at the Negombo Prison. They also found a digital scale, used to measure drugs.

On 11 May 2020, Prison officials raided three cells at the Negombo Prison and found a refrigerator and electric fan and a microwave oven. Several drug dealers were kept in those cells.

Investigators found Sampayo, the Head Jailer Sarath Bandara, a First Tier Jailer Sarath Nishantha and a Second Tier Jailer Kalinga Kaluaggala were allegedly involved in these misdeeds and AG’s Department decided that there was sufficient evidence to file charges against them.

 



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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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