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Beware: Gusty winds and heavy rains expected today

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Sri Lanka will be experiencing strong gusty winds and heavy rain today, despite the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal moving away from Sri Lanka towards Bangladesh while intensifying into a severe cyclonic storm, the Meteorological Department said yesterday.

Deputy Director Meryl Mendis said that due to these conditions, the southwest monsoon rains would intensify.

He said that as a result, gusty winds would be passing through Sri Lanka, while the western slopes of the central hills and catchment areas such as Ratnapura, Kegalle, and Nuwara Eliya would be receiving heavy rains.

The deputy director called on the people to take precautions from heavy winds and rains as the inclement weather could cause trees to fall, landslides, and floods.

The Meteorology Department has issued a warning saying strong winds of 60–70 kmph and heavy rain are expected around the country. The sea would be rough in the southeastern Arabian Sea area and the Bay of Bengal.

The department advises fishermen to return to the shore or move to safer areas immediately. The fishing and naval communities are advised to follow the department’s forecasts.

The Disaster Management Centre’s Director General, Retd. Maj. Gen. Udaya Herath, called on the people to follow the warnings to avoid danger to them and their properties.

He said that already seven people had died due to the falling of trees. With the heavy winds and rains, more trees could fall. Already, more than 44,000 people have been affected throughout the country due to the adverse weather, and more than 450,000 electricity breakdowns have been reported.

(sundaytimes.lk)
 (This story, originally published by sundaytimes.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Fresh protest in Jaffna over poaching by Indian fishermen

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Associations representing fishermen in the north today  staged a protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Jaffna demanding to stop the Indian trawler that were trespassing in the Sri Lankan waters.

They also met the Indian Consul General Sai Murali and handed over a letter.

The move came as the  government was planning to  take up the issue of poaching with the visiting Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishnakar  who is due on June 20 in Colombo.

When President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited New Delhi on June 9 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the matter was also raised in a separate meeting with Minister Dr Jaishnakar as well.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda earlier told the Sunday Times that the government will take up the matter with the visiting Indian Foreign Minister this week as the government is consistent with its policy of preventing Indian fishermen from robbing billions worth of fisheries resources from the Northern Sea.

“As a nation, we have to protect our resources, interests and the livelihood of our fisherfolks. I hope to raise the issue in the next Cabinet meeting (June 19) as well,” Minister Devananda said.

Days before the annual breeding ban was lifted, a group of fishermen’s unions based in North handed over a petition on Tuesday to officials at the Indian Consulate General office in Jaffna requesting them to make immediate steps to prevent Indian fishermen coming into Sri Lankan waters at the expense of their livelihood.

The fishermen unions which formed a collective outfit as Northen Fishermen’s Allaince requested President Wickremesinghe in a petition urged authorities to “expedite their maximum efforts to monitoring and preventing the daily incursion of thousands of Tamil Nadu trawlers every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings,”

The two-month-long ban came into effect from April 14 onwards and was lifted on Friday is enforced to facilitate the breeding of fish banks in the ocean and maintain the equilibrium of marine sources for sustainability.

Currently, Indian fishermen who engage in fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters are arrested by the Navy and Coast Guard and subjected to legal action after their trawlers are seized.

Following the legal action in which the Magistrate courts hand in a suspended sentence of eighteen months for engaging in fishing without a license, fishermen are released and repatriated through the assistance of Indian diplomatic missions.

(sundaytimes.lk)

(This story, originally published by sundaytimes.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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President tells Minister Wijeyadasa to quit?

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The Senior Vice Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa has claimed that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has pressured Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, to resign from the government.

He alleged that Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe revealed this during a politburo meeting.

However, ‘Ada Derana’ reports that upon contacting Minister Rajapakshe, he said that the statement made by Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa is untrue.  

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 Railways TU action called off

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The Sri Lanka Railways Station Masters’ Union (SLRSMU) has decided to call off their planned trade union action as their demands are being reviewed by the Public Service Commission. 

The Commission is expected to announce its decision by Thursday (20). Meanwhile, train operations are continuing as usual today, according to the SLRSMU.

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