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CEJ now takes aim at proposed forest rape by the state

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By Ifham Nizam

Fresh from their victory in fighting the destruction of Kallaru Reserve Forest in the Court of Appeal,

Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) Executive Director Hemantha Withanage this week filed a new writ application in the CA through their lawyers, against a government decision to revive the `Other State Forest’ from the preview of the Forest Department and handover the `other forests’ to District and Division Secretariat.

Attorney-at-Law, Ravindranath Dabare yesterday said Circulars No. 05/2001 and No. 02/2006 dated 10.08.2001 and 17.05. 2006 that had been revoked by way of Circular MWFC/1/2020 dated 04.11.2020 titled `Government residual Forest Management’ by Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation with immediate effect.

He had no authority under the Forest Conservation Ordinance or any other written law to issue such a circular, Dabare said.

“We seek Writ of Mandamus and Certiorari against the respondents-  the Secretary of Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, Conservator General of Forests, the Secretary of Ministry of Environment and the Attorney General under Article 140 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka,” he said.

The CEJ legal team also stated that “Other State Forests” had been under the purview of District or Divisional Secretariats and Government agents before the issuance of the Circular No. 05/2001, which was intended to prevent the alienation of those forest areas and the destruction fauna and flora.

Many forest lands have been grabbed around the country, in Pollebadda,-Mahaoya, Lahugala, Nilgala and many other areas because of the current circular. These forests link reserve forests with national parks and are serve as corridors for animals. The absence of these Other State Forests will lead to National Parks and Forest Reserves being isolated and fragmented, according to CEJ..

The CEJ said that it was one of the main causes for the Human – Elephant Conflict in the country. 



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) sets Serendib World Record climbing Adam’s Peak in record time

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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) of the Sri Lanka Navy achieved a remarkable feat, setting a Serendib World Record for climbing Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) in an impressive time of 23 hours and 46 minutes, using four different routes  (Nallathanniya, Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda.)  as well as becoming the first person to complete the most ascents of Adam’s Peak within 24 hours.

He began his quest to set this record on 08th April, starting from the Nallathanniya Sri Pada entrance at 3:00 a.m all the way to the peak. His journey continued with climbs up and down the Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda routes, ultimately concluding with the challenging trek from Adam’s Peak to Nallathanniya.

The Serendib World Records Committee officially acknowledged Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage’s (Retd) achievement and awarded him the Serendib World Record certificate on 09th April.

(Navy Media)

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