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‘Youth need to know sacrifices of forebears’

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Premier Rajapaksa greeting his Bangladeshi counterpart

 

PM in Bangladesh

In the 21st Century, with the great aspirations for Asian prosperity, the new generations needed to be aware of the countless sacrifices made by their fore-fathers to achieve freedom, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday at an event celebrating the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.

“As a neighbour and a close friend, Sri Lanka stands side by side with Bangladesh to achieve greater freedom and prosperity. Our objectives of economic transformation, eradication of poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals remain key priorities in the middle of great challenges. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of Bangladesh, said “Bangladesh is fertile and endowed with plenty. Few countries in the world have the kind of fertile land that we have.” The geographical locations of our two countries provide ample opportunities for us to enhance closer maritime, shipping, trade and people-to-people contacts,” he said

Premier Rajapaksa said that Bangladesh is considered an emerging economic power houses in South Asia and is an important trading and investment partner for Sri Lanka.

“The great strides Bangladesh has made in the field of agriculture attracts great attention in Sri Lanka. In addition to playing an active role through the SAARC Agriculture Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh continues to provide training and capacity building for our institutions. I seek your indulgence to share closer cooperation in this field. The inspiring journey that the people of Bangladesh had undertaken from poverty and natural disasters in the past half century is a testament to a prosperous nation in the making. It is in this backdrop, I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt compliments and sincere and warm wishes to you, Madam Prime Minister, your Government, and the people of Bangladesh,” he said.



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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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