Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) was cruising to a resounding victory at the 2020 general election, securing over 60% of the votes counted so far (10.00 pm on Thursday).
Sajith Premadasa’s Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) was at a distant second, while the JVP-led National People’s Power (NPP) is in third place. The United National Party (UNP) suffered significant losses.
At the time of going to press, the SLPP had obtained 2,429,239 out of the votes counted, SJB 840,919, NPP 173,857 and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) 147,991.
The SLPP also obtained 13 seats, six from Matara and seven from the Galle district. The SJB obtained three, one from Matara and two from the Galle district. The SLPP won all electorates at Galle and Matara Districts.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) won Uduppili electorate, Jaffna, beating C. V. Vigneswaran’s Thamizh Makkal Tesiya Kootani (TMTK) and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK.)
Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan Alias Pillaiyan’s Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) won the Batticaloa electorate with 20,622 votes beating ITAK (17, 312) and SJB (15, 394).
The UNP came in fifth at Mahiyanganaya, which was once its stronghold.
SJB won Kalmunai and Muttur electorates in Trincomalee with the help of the SLMC, which is one of its constituents. Election officials started counting preferential votes in 12 districts yesterday evening and it is expected that these results too could be declared today.
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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