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SJB calls for probe into Namal Kumara’s latest claim

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‘Karuna was given Rs. 150 mn to kill Bathiudeen’

By Saman Indrajith

Kurunegala District SJB MP Nalina Bandara Jayamaha told Parliament yesterday (23) that a new video containing controversial issues had been released on Sunday by Namal Kumara, who describes himself as the directors (operations) of an anti-corruption outfit. During the yahapalana government, he alleged that there was a conspiracy to assassinate former President Maithripala Sirisena.

MP Bandara said, participating in the third reading debate on the budget: “This video contains a serious allegation that a Rs 150 million contract had been given to Karuna Amman to kill Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Karuna Amman is on the government side. He is also a senior advisor to the Prime Minister, so this matter should be investigated.

“Now you have all the power. You must ensure that all those named in the video are arrested. Namal Kumara once mentioned a person by the name of Thushara Peiris, who is said to be in Paris. Why cannot the government bring Thushara Peiris here and conduct an investigation. Last time soon before Zahran’s Easter Sunday attacks, there had been several exposes by Namal Kumara. There were similar tapes and statements. Then the Easter attack came, which helped this government to come to power. The government promised to arrest all responsible for the Easter attacks, but so far nobody has been taken into custody. Zahran’s wife testified before the presidential commission in camera. Nobody knows what she really said there. If something happens to her no one knows the truth. Similarly, Zara who aided and abetted the terrorists, has fled to India. Why cannot the government have her extradited?”



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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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