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Team from Colombo to probe Gal Ara forest destruction!

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A group of officers have left Colombo today (28) to investigate the incident of cutting down trees at the Gal Ara buffer zone of Yala National Park.

It was reported that 200 to 300 years old Palu and Weera trees in that area have been cut down and a 40-feet wide road has been marked around an area of about 40 acres.

The residents alleged that this destruction was carried out for 5 days by a timber businessman in Debarawewa.

It is said that out of these 40 acres, 30 acres will be given to this businessman and the remaining 10 acres will be given to several forest conservation officers of Lunugamwehera.

Commenting on the incident, Lunugamwehera Site Officer Kumudu Rohana told the media that such an incident has not been reported to him.

In this forest, trees such as Dimbul, Palu and Weera can be seen in abundance and environmentalists pointed out that the destruction of these trees cannot prevent the invasion of wild elephants.

Environmentalist Prince Surendra Dahanayake revealed to the media that small tanks have been constructed in this area to provide water for wild animals during the dry season, and the water for those small tanks is obtained from Gal Ara. He said this large-scale land smuggling is carried out by obstructing all these water streams.

Tissamaharama Divisional Secretary Chandima Manamperi said that since there are frequent reports of clearing forest conservation lands, she has instructed the Lunugamwehera forest conservation officers to take appropriate action.

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Sri Lanka Railways GM passes away

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Sri Lanka Railways General Manager H. M. K. W. Bandara passed away today (23) due to a sudden illness.

He  was appointed as the railways chief in November 2023.

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CPC Vice Minister Sun Haiyan to visit Sri Lanka

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Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Sun Haiyan, is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a two-day official visit, as reported by The Thinakaran Newspaper.

During her visit, Sun Haiyan is scheduled to engage in discussions with high-ranking government officials, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The discussions are anticipated to cover various bilateral matters of mutual interest between China and Sri Lanka.

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Two killed in police shooting following failed checkpoint stop

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Two people died in police fire on Tuesday (23) morning.

The Police Media Division said that officers opened fire at a three wheeler that failed to comply with orders to stop at a checkpoint near the Meegoda – Delketiya junction.

The incident took place at around 1:50 AM.

Sri Lanka Police said that after officers ordered the three wheeler to stop, the driver had slowed down the vehicle, and those inside had opened fire at the police and fled to Moragahahena.

Accordingly, the Moragahahena Police was immediately informed of the shooting.

A group of officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division who were at the Moragahahena Police for a separate inquiry upon hearing the incident had attempted to stop the three wheeler from fleeing.

The three wheeler that continued to disregard orders to stop had proceeded to the Tyre Factory located along the Meepe Road in Moragahahena, where shots were fired at them by officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division.

Sri Lanka Police said two people who were injured in the shooting succumbed to their injuries upon admission to hospital.

Another person who was in the three wheeler had fled the scene.

The deceased were 42 and 35 year old males from Thanamalvila.

Police said a firearm was also recovered from the three wheeler’

(newsfirst.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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