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Over 100 dead marine animals washed ashore



By Ifham Nizam

More than 150 dead marine animals affected by the MV X-Press Pearl accident, have beached, officials and environmentalists say.

By yesterday bodies of 100 turtles, 15 dolphins, three whales and scores of sea birds and fish species, had been beached.

“We found five dead turtles and two dolphins in Trincomalee on 21 June alone. We continue to receive reports that dead marine animals are being beached everyday, particularly from the Western Coast,” a senior official said.

On Saturday, a dead whale with burn injuries was washed ashore on the Musali Karadikuli beach in Mannar. Officials said it was about 12 feet long.

However, Environmentalist Hemantha Withanage said that the Wildlife Department Conservation was trying to downplay the number of deaths.

The Sri Lanka Biodiversity Conservation and Research Circle, Convener Supun Lahiru Prakash yesterday wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, urging him to look at the investigations being carried out by the Department of Wildlife on the impact.

“Dead marine animals such as dolphins and turtles are being washed ashore. But we are not sure if there is even a proper count,” he said

He said that officers attached to the Anawilundawa, Muthurajawela, Bellanwila-Attidiya and Hikkaduwa Wildlife Offices must report to the relevant Magistrate Courts of the dead marine animals found on the beaches of the Western, Southern and North Western Provinces. Post mortems must be conducted by the Wildlife veterinarians and body samples forwarded by the Courts to the Boralesgamuwa Veterinary Unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation or to the Government Analyst for getting the expert opinion or further reports.

“However, it is known that the Boralesgamuwa Veterinary Unit does not have the necessary laboratory facilities. The veterinarians are examining the dead animals by only looking at them,” Prakash said.

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



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?



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



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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