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Countrywide elephant census next year

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A new countrywide census is expected to be conducted next year, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation – Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday (15).

The last elephant census in Sri Lanka was conducted in 2011.

The minister said that a long-term program to reduce human-elephant conflict will be prepared and as one of the measures, a full census of elephants will be conducted.

The Minister said this at the first meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation held yesterday (15) for the third session of the Ninth Parliament.

The minister mentioned this when the MPs asked about the elephant-human conflict, which has become a serious problem day by day. Accordingly, many MPs drew the attention of the minister about the human elephant conflict in various areas including Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura, Ampara districts.

It was also revealed that a number of reasons, including the reduction of elephant habitats and the significant increase in elephant population, have led to human-elephant conflict.

The minister said that 16 main elephant corridors in the island have been blocked and due to this the arrival of elephants in the villages has increased.

Accordingly, the minister further said that these obstacles will be removed promptly.

Also, the minister said that the President has appointed a committee to find solutions to the human-elephant conflict, and based on the committee’s decisions, he hopes to prepare a program with long-term solutions.

The minister also said that a series of separate meetings will be organized in those districts to discuss the existing problems related to the protection of wildlife and forest resources, and in consultation with public representatives and government officials, steps will be taken to provide the necessary solutions without delay.

The members also drew the committee’s attention to the damage caused to crops by animals such as monkeys, peacocks, etc. The minister also said that tough decisions will be taken to reduce these damages.

It was also discussed at the committee about the hardships faced by the farmers during the demarcation of the boundaries by the Department of Forest Resources Conservation. The minister instructed the officials to provide solutions in such a way that the people are not affected.

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Easter Sunday bombings : Rs. 295 mn. paid as compensation

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The annual reports of the Office of Reparations have revealed that over Rs. 295 million (295,499,069) have been paid as compensation to victims and property damage of the Sunday Easter bombings.

Under this, Rs. 273,747,000  have been paid as compensation for 719 victims while Rs. 21,752,069 have been paid as compensation for property damages.

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350 medical specialists have left SL

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A study conducted by a group of specialist doctors at the Ministry of Health has revealed that 350 specialists have left the country during recent times.

Many of them have left for countries such as UK and Australia. According to a spokesperson of the ministry, economic hardships have been cited as one of the main reasons for them to do so.
Doctors suggest that the government should provide an immediate solution to this issue.

Commenting on the issue, Secretary of the Health Ministry – Dr. Palitha Mahipala says that there is still a shortage of anesthetists and pediatricians after most of them had left the country.

However, some who have gone for training, are returning after their training is complete, he adds.

Meanwhile, sources in the Health sector also say that over 200 nurses too have gone overseas, but new recruits have enabled to prevent hospital operations from continuing without hindrance.

(Source : Lankadeepa)

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Details of SL recruits in Russian military, sought

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Sri Lanka has sought a report from Russian authorities on details of Sri Lankan military recruits and how many of them have died during the Russian-Ukraine conflict, the ‘Aruna’ newspaper reports.

According to a directive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia has forwarded this request to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Previously, the Human Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Maritime Crime Investigation Division (CID) arrested a retired major and an employment agent, identified as leaders of an organized scheme that recruited retired military personnel as mercenaries for the Russian army.

The Defence Ministry in Sri Lanka has urged the Tri Force commanders to brief Tri Force personnel not to fall for such rackets.

(Source : Aruna)

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Retired Major & agent arrested for recruiting SL mercenaries for Russian Army

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