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Heavy rains in several areas today

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The prevailing showery condition in the south-western part of the country is expected to continue further, the Department of Meteorology said today.

It said showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and North-western Provinces and in Kandy and Nuwara-Eliya Districts.

Fairly heavy showers of above 75mm can be expected at some places in Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces.

Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in Eastern and Uva Provinces and in Polonnaruwa and Mullaitivu Districts during the evening or night.

The department requested the people to take precautions to minimize damages caused by temporary localized strong winds and lightning during thundershowers.

Meanwhile, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said that 25,863 people in 10 districts have been affected by the inclement weather.

People belonging to 6,250 families residing in the districts of Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kalutara, Gampaha, Matara, Galle, Nuwara Eliya, Puttalam, Kurunegala and Jaffna are affected by the adverse weather. The largest number of affected people were reported from Gampaha District.

Furthermore, the Irrigation Department has issued flood risk warnings to the people living in the areas around the Kuda River, which is a sub-basin of the Kalu River, people living in the lower valley of the Nilwala River, and to the people living in lower areas of Ging and Attanagalu Oya.

DMC Kalutara District Assistant Director Col. Aravinda Amarasekara said that a sluice gate has been opened in the Kukule Ganga Reservoir and the volume of water used for power generation has been reduced to 60 cubic meters per second.

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Govt to give preference for green vehicles

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Sri Lanka may consider lifting the import ban of motor vehicles next year as the country’s economic situation is improving with foreign reserves almost reaching USD 5 billion, said Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayake.

“As the country’s economic landscape has improved, the ‘would be’ import bill for motor vehicles is not a big amount that the country should worry about. “But our concern is the protection of the local motor industry which is now making great progress.”

He told a press conference on Wednesday, that the Government may give preference towards the import of Green vehicles. “However, the local infrastructure should be developed first, as one doesn’t see many charging stations in and outside Colombo.”

He said that in Singapore there is a permit system and when a vehicle is over ten years old it is re-exported which ensures that a new vehicle fleet remains in the country. “Sri Lanka too has to follow a similar model for the motor industry.”

Ratnayake said that the high earning tourism industry is given all the assistance as it is being identified as an industry that could take the country to the next level.

The Government has already given permission to import 750 vans and 250 buses to be used for the tourism industry.

Similarly, the maritime sector too has been identified as a key area and this is the reason the Government is investing millions of dollars to upgrade and expand them. “The current geo-politics involving the Red Sea has already given the Port more business and revenue.”

He said that the proposed bridge between India and Sri Lanka too would be a major game changer for Sri Lanka’s economy as it will create more commodities to flow between the two countries.

“This will certainly help reduce some of the food prices in Sri Lanka and create more employment opportunities.”

Ratnayake said that the tax revenue collection is on track and the Government may soon explore the possibility of increasing the Rs. 100,000 tax threshold to a higher level.

(sundayobserver.lk)

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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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