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SL keen to drive vibrant ICT sector to the global platform

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By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London Saroja Sirisena says Sri Lanka wants to be digitally inclusive and drive the country’s vibrant ICT sector to the global platform.

She was speaking at the launch of the Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) Global Referral Program webinar last week.

She said the High Commission initiated this webinar to provide the opportunity to bring Sri Lankan talent to the global front with the contribution of the diverse and well-established British Sri Lankan community.

The objective of the webinar was to introduce the potential of the IT-BPM industry in Sri Lanka and the opportunities therein to the British Sri Lankan community to contribute towards its growth by becoming a referrer of the SLASSCOM Program.

This was the first time the SLASSCOM Global Referral Program was launched in a foreign country. It was attended by more than 140 registered participants.

The event was addressed by the Director- General of the Board of Investment, Sanjay Mohottala on the ‘Investment climate & opportunities in the ICT sector’, Chairman of  SLASSCOM Channa Manoharan on ‘Sri Lankan IT-BPM sector/island of Ingenuity overview’ and Head of the Marketing Forum of SLASSCOM Mudith Uswatta on ‘SLASSCOM Global Referral program initiation’. The session was moderated by IT Consultant and Past President of the APSL Mervyn Silva.

The President of the APSL UK, Dr. Mahesh De Silva provided an overview of the association and the work undertaken by them. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by the Minister (Commercial) of the High Commission Dr. Lakmini Mendis.

The webinar was organised by the Sri Lanka High Commission in London in collaboration with the Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL UK) and Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies.



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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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