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Ban imposed on local agent for forcing women into prostitution in Middle East

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A foreign travel ban was imposed on the owner of a foreign employment agency in Dambulla who is said to be involved in a racket in which young women from Sri Lanka forced into prostitution in Dubai, UAE and Oman by sending them as domestic workers.

Colombo Chief Magistrate Nandana Amarasinghe ordered that the suspect Asha Dissanayake be banned from travelling abroad based on a request made by the Criminal Investigation Department’s Human Trafficking, Smuggling Investigation and Maritime Crime Investigation Division.

The police informed the court that they have launched an extensive investigation on seven other foreign employment agencies involved in this large-scale racket.

The police informed the court that about 50 women who went to work abroad and were stranded in these countries have suffered various forms of harassment and sexual abuse. Currently, they are staying under the protection of the embassies and the statements recorded from these women have been submitted to the court.

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Accomplice of ’’Kudu Salindu’’ arrested

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A suspect running the drug network of the main shooter of “Kudu Salindu” has been arrested, the Special Task force said today (March 25).

Officers of STF organized Crime III had conducted a raid on the Panadura-Horana road where a 33 year old man was in possession of 10kg of cannabis and Rs. 100,000 was arrested.

The suspect had been transporting it on a motorbike in the guise of a food delivery.

The suspect was revealed to be the person who handled the drug network in Panadura and the financial affairs of the main shooter of Underworld mobster Kudu Salindu, “Beliatta Rana”, who is currently in Dubai.

In the past three years, the STF has seized 217kg 328g of heroin, 47kg 47g of ice, 4722kg of Cannabis, 70461 illegal drugs and 11023 drugs pills have been seized.

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Mississippi tornado kills 26 and brings devastation to US state

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Search and rescue efforts are continuing in Mississippi after a deadly tornado hit the US state.

At least 25 people have died in the state, and one in Alabama, with dozens more left injured by Friday’s tornado.

The storms devastated several rural towns, with Rolling Fork in western Sharkey County almost completely wiped out.

Mississippi state governor Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency to help respond to the damage.

US President Joe Biden also described the images coming out of Mississippi as “heartbreaking”, and said the federal government would “do everything we can to help”.

“We will be there as long as it takes. We will work together to deliver the support you need to recover,” he said in a statement.

More storms are predicted to hit parts of Alabama and Georgia early on Sunday and potentially bring large hail.

The storm system which ripped through Mississippi produced a tornado that has caused catastrophic damage to communities across the state. The biggest twister obliterated dozens of buildings in several small towns, flipping cars on their sides and toppling power lines.

The small town of Rolling Fork, located in Sharkey County in western Mississippi, has essentially been wiped out, according to its mayor.

“My city is gone,” Mayor Eldridge Walker told CNN. “But we’re resilient and we’re going to come back.”

He added that lots of families in his community were “affected and hurting”, and all he could see was “devastation”.

Rolling Fork residents said windows were blown out of the back of their homes.

Local resident Brandy Showah told CNN: “I’ve never seen anything like this… This was a very great small town, and now it’s gone.”

Drone footage of Rolling Fork, shared with the BBC, shows the devastation inflicted on the town. Trucks and trees are shown piled on top of buildings, with detritus scattered over large areas.

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Government has no plans to dismantle CSD – Sagala

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The Government has no intention of dissolving the Civil Service Department (CSD), Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake said.

He stated that the Civil Service Department was approved as a depreciable service according to the 2015 Cabinet paper, but that period has now lapsed, President’s media Division (PMD) said.

Ratnayake noted that the members of the Civil Service Department are allowed to request a service extension beyond the age of 55, enabling them to serve for up to 60 years.

He emphasized that there have been no alterations to these policies and that there are no plans to modify them in the future.

He made these statements while participating in an appreciation ceremony held yesterday (24) afternoon at the headquarters of the Civil Service Department in Katubedda, Moratuwa, to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of the officers of the Civil Service Department.

During the ceremony, which was chaired by the Minister of State for Defence Premita Bandara Tennakoon, the contributions of the Civil Service Department in service to the country were recognized and appreciated.

During his visit, Mr. Ratnayake also interacted with the members of the Civil Service Department, inquiring about their work and engaging in friendly conversation.

The Director General of the Civil Service Department, Major General Ranjith Kalkahewege (Retired), presented a commemorative gift to both Sagala Ratnayake and the Minister of State for Defence, Premita Bandara Tennakoon, to mark the occasion.

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