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President visits Kolonnawa Kelaniya & Ambatale areas (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed officials to refrain from permitting new construction in the Kelani river valley to regulate the river water levels. 

Additionally, the President instructed officials to promptly halt illegal landfills in these areas and to relocate the Mulleriyawa and IDH hospitals to alternative locations.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe embarked on an observation tour of the Kolonnawa, Kelaniya and Ambatale areas to assess the welfare of individuals affected by the floods and other disasters resulting from adverse weather conditions. Following this tour, he participated in a discussion held at the Kolonnawa Sedawatta Weheragoda Rajamaha Viharaya, where he issued instructions.

During his visit, the President also inspected the Ambatale Galwana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, where displaced individuals are sheltered, as well as the Sedawatta Weheragoda Purana Rajamaha Viharaya. Additionally, he visited the security centres of Kolonnawa Terence S. Silva College and Wellampitiya Community College to inquire about the well-being of the people and instructed officials to address their needs promptly and continuously.

The President instructed the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretary to initiate food distribution for flood-affected individuals in the Kolonnawa area starting tonight. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of prioritizing the health and sanitation needs of these individuals.

He further emphasized the importance of swiftly relocating individuals from flood-prone areas, suggesting the utilization of aqueducts to divert the floodwaters.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, emphasized the necessity of implementing a specialized program to safeguard the homes and property of individuals residing in shelters during the disaster.

During a discussion held at the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretary’s Office, he further highlighted the potential for implementing mobile patrols with the involvement of community police.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also advised the army to adhere to strict hygiene protocols while providing food to people in the disaster-stricken areas. He instructed officers to ensure the provision of clean drinking water to the affected individuals.

He also directed the establishment of a temporary relief centre operated by the Tri-force officers to provide essential relief to the people until the disaster situation ends. Furthermore, he underscored the importance of initiating a special program immediately to control epidemic diseases such as dengue, rat fever (Leptospirosis) and diarrhoea that may arise after the flood situation recedes.

He mentioned that the President has instructed to rebuild all the houses that were completely damaged due to the disaster situation, with government assistance and the involvement of the armed forces.

Present at the discussion were Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles,  State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Members of Parliament Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Premnath C. Dolawatte, S.M Marikkar, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, Director General of Trade Unions to the President Saman Ratnapriya, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera and Inspector General of Police Deshbandu Tennakoon.

(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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