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President Instructs to utilize World Environment Day funds to aid weather-affected citizens

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Provincial Councils, Local Government, and Environment State Minister Janaka Wakkumbura announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed to utilize funds allocated for the National Celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, to aid those affected by adverse weather conditions. 
He emphasized that during this time of difficulty, some individuals are attempting to gain political advantages by merely criticizing, while what is truly needed is immediate assistance for those affected.

State Minister Vakkambura made these remarks at a press conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (03) under the theme “Collective Path to a Stable Country.” 

Addressing the Media Personnel, the State Minister further commented:

A large number of people have been displaced due to prevailing adverse weather conditions. As a government, we have already begun providing relief to them. A program to supply food to displaced persons across the country has also been implemented. 

Additionally, all local and provincial authorities have been instructed to commence cleaning operations in affected areas as soon as the floodwaters recede. There is also a risk of epidemic diseases such as spread of dengue, and we have directed concerned officials to take preventive measures. Notifications have also been issued to repair the damaged bridges, bays, and roads.

Provincial Councils and the Ministry of Provincial Councils, Local Government, and Environment have jointly allocated provisions for the development and welfare of families and areas affected by disasters. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed all District Secretaries to prioritize necessary actions over budget concerns during this process.

However, at this time, some individuals are attempting to gain political advantage through criticism. This is not the appropriate course of action. What is more important than criticism is for everyone to work together to support and save the displaced people.

Additionally, there is a need to develop a proactive program to control flooding before it occurs. The President has directed the relevant authorities to focus on the necessary measures to address this issue as a government.Additionally, starting tomorrow (04), interviews are scheduled over the next 10 days to grant permanent appointments to 8,400 employees in local government institutions who have not yet received them.

We have also identified efforts by some individuals to sabotage this project. Therefore, I urge the public to trust the government under any circumstances.The national celebration of World Environment Day was scheduled for June 5th. However, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed that the celebration be cancelled, and the financial allocation be redirected to support the welfare of those affected by the adverse weather conditions.

(President’s Media Division)

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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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