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Over 100 trade unions to join in today’s strike!



Over 100 trade unions representing petroleum, ports, electricity, health, railways, banking and education sectors would join in nationwide strikes and protests scheduled against the ‘unfair’ tax policy today (01).

Accordingly, the petroleum, electricity and water supply workers would engage in a work-to-rule action, while the health workers will refrain from duties in a way that does not make a major impact on patient care.

Ravi Kumudesh, President of the Federation of Health Professionals, said that some health workers may completely refrain from duties during the strike but the workers in emergency patient care would continue to provide their services.

The trade union action is to be taken during the lunch break by wearing black bands and by raising black flags.

Dr. Haritha Aluthge, Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association, said that their members will also take part in the series of protests that will be held across the country today while maintaining emergency treatment services in the hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Railways Trade Union Alliance said that there will be no strike today but a massive protest would be held against the unfair actions of the government.

The union said that the trains will be operated with black flags hoisted, and the railway employees would report to duty by wearing black bands.

Meanwhile, the bus associations said they would continue their operations as usual.

Teachers would also report to work wearing black bands and hold protests outside the schools raising black flags.

General Secretary of the Lanka Banku Sevaka Sangamaya Ranjan Senanayake said that they will also join in the trade union actions today.

Accordingly, the employees of 18 public, private and foreign banks would engage in strike today.

Meanwhile, President’s Secretary E. M. S. B. Ekanayake issued a Gazette notification on February 27 declaring several services as essential.

Accordingly, the gazette notification declares public transports services for passengers or goods, discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery & removal of articles of food or drink, or coal, oil, fuel from vessels within any port as defined for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235), the provision and maintenance of facilities for transport services by road, rail or air, including roads, bridges, culverts, airports, ports & railway lines, as essential services with immediate effect.

It was reported that the reason for issuing this gazette is to prevent the strike that is being held today by a number of trade unions.

Related News:

President signs gazette on essential services


Civil Defence officer arrested over shooting of Perahera elephant




A Civil Defence Department officer attached to the Mapakada Wewa Wildlife Regional Office has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a female elephant that had participated in the annual Randoli Perahera of Mahiyanganaya Rajamaha Viharaya.

Police spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa said a statement is being recorded from the said officer.

The incident has taken place at around 3:30 a.m. this morning.

It was reported that following the procession, the female elephant had been tied to a tree on the banks of the Mahaweli River.

The mahout, who said he was having breakfast when the incident happened, accused the officer of shooting the elephant despite people telling him that ‘Sita’ was not a wild elephant.

The officer in question had shot ‘Sita’ after mistaking it for a wild elephant that had crossed the river.

The injured 48-year-old elephant was later treated by veterinary surgeons of the Wildlife Conservation Department.

In a statement, the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department, M.G.C. Sooriyabandara had clarified that one of the wildlife officers at the site had mistakenly fired rubber bullets at the female elephant ‘Sita’ while trying to scare off the wild elephants in the vicinity.

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Landslide warnings extended




The Department of Irrigation says that the water levels in the Kelani River and Attanagalu Oya are rising to levels that requires attention.

Director of the Hydrology and Disaster Management Division of the Irrigation Department S. P. C. Sugeeshwara says that the Gin, Nilwala and Kalu Ganga remain at the flood level.

Many roads in the vicinity of the rivers have been inundated.

S. P. C Sugeeshwara warns that people should refrain from further using the rivers.

The landslide warnings issued to seven districts have also been extended, due to the prevailing weather conditions.

The Met Department predicts that the heavy showers in the South West will continue.

Heavy showers of about 75 mm can be expected in some areas.

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“SLPP Leadership can change if needed”




Former President Mahinda Rajapaska yesterday said that there should be a change in the leadership of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), if the need arises.

When the former President was asked about the veracity of the news on social media about imminent change of the SLPP leadership, said that he is not aware of any change in the leadership. 

The President was speaking to the media after calling on Mahanayake Thera of the Rammanya Maha Nikaya Most Ven. Makulewe Sri Wimala Thera at the Vidyawasa Pirivena in Meerigama yesterday.

Commenting on the impending regulations on social media, the former President said that there are pros and cons in the social media. “I don’t have any issue with the social media,” he said. 

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also visited the Sacred Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya and participated in religious activities. The Former President also met Chief incumbent of the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkitha Thera and received his blessings.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, the former President said that he is physically fit despite social media reports to the contrary.


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