By Prageeth Janaka
Water Supply and Drainage Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara on Saturday said that former President Maithripala Sirisena would be given a post in the new government in coming days according to the latter’s qualifications.
Speaking at a ceremony in Kolonne Minister Nanayakkara said: “I propose the combining of the SLPP and SLFP. There are no major differences of the visions of the two political streams. They should be combined and placed under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership. Maithripala Sirisena too would be given a position soon. That would be done considering his qualifications. It is not my job to reveal it right now.”
“Chandrika Kumaratunga is an invalid coin in politics. She is a spy of our enemies and we have no place for her. She is supporting UNP and Samagi Jana Balawegasya on the sly. The SLFP has nothing to do with her. We could take care of the future of the SLFP without her.”
Minister Nanayakkara said that the government had no plans to increase water tariffs. Instead the government was committed to reducing waste and supply water efficiently. It was his aim to provide drinking water to all within four years, he added.
The Minister said that a four year plan with the theme “Providing water to the public life is our purpose in life” had been prepared for the purpose.
Steps would be taken to strengthen the Community Water Department by preparing new ordinances to regulate the water supply, the veteran leftist said.
Minister Nanayakkara said that steps would be taken to start four major water projects in Katana, Deduru Oya, Kelani Ganga South Bank and Matale this year to provide more than 100,000 new water connections, he said.
The Minister said that strict action would be taken against those who obtain water illegally.
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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