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Marine Drive work to go on continuously to ease Galle Road congestion

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The foremost task of the government was to expedite the development projects suspended by the yahapalana regime, Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said yesterday .

Speaking to journalists during an inspection visit to the marine drive extension site, the Minister said: “The construction of the Marine Drive has been going on for years. The yahapalana government could not build a short extension of the road. This road is a viable solution to the problem of traffic congestion on the Galle Road and the Duplication Road. Under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa most of the work of the Marine Drive had been completed. If there had been no regime change in 2015, today the Marine Drive would have been long completed.”

The Minister said that the construction of the Marine Drive had been expedited despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The government had extended its fullest support to the contractors to complete their work.

“Traffic congestion will soon be a thing of the past. We are building a flyover to help ease traffic at the entryway to Kaudana. The work of the elevated highway from the New Kelani Bridge and the expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to the Port City will contribute immensely to solve the traffic congestion problem,” Minister Fernando said.

The construction work would go on round the clock, seven days a week, the Minister said, adding that the Marine Drive would be extended up to Panadura.

“On the other hand, we are expanding the existing Marine Drive through an underground tunnel through the Galle Face Green, which will then be connected to an elevated highway on the Port City, linking up to the New Kelani Bridge,” he said.



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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