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Dengue risks rises as inclement weather continues

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The Department of Meteorology has stated several spells of showers will occur in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and North-western provinces.

Showers or thundershowers could occur in several areas elsewhere during the evening or night, it said.

Death toll rises to 21
Meanwhile, the Disaster Management Center states that the number of deaths reported due to the adverse weather has risen to 21 while affecting over 161,000 people.

Flood levels down ; landslide risks remain
The Irrigation Department reported that water levels in the Kelani River, Kalu River, and Attanagalu Oya are receding, reducing flooding in Gampaha, Ja-Ela, Wattala, Minuwangoda, and Katana. Engineer Sakura Dilthara confirms decreasing levels in low-lying areas like Kaduwela, Biyagama, Kolonnawa, Wattala, and Colombo.

However, Dr. Wasantha Senadeera, a senior geologist from the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) warns that landslide risks remain.

Dengue cases rise
Meanwhile, over 25,000 cases of dengue infections have been recorded within the five months so far this year, according to the National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU).

The Director of the National Dengue Control Unit, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera stated that dengue breeding sites being detected in most of the schools is a dangerous situation.

Dr. Samaraweera also stated that there had been a significant surge in dengue cases last year, with nearly 90,000 reported by the end of 2023.

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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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