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STF unveils new capability to combat crime

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By. Norman Palihawadane

The Police Special Task Force has set up a special unit, named the Special Waterborne Operation Squad, to curb illegal activities in the country’s internal water bodies.

The new unit had been set up under the supervision of the Commandant of the STF, DIG Waruna Jayasundara, and a team of 16 officers had been selected for the purpose, Police spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said on Monday (10). The officers have also been given two weeks of training by the experts from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes and the Sri Lanka Powerboat Association, the STF said.

Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekara officially launched the squad on Sunday (09) at the Bolgoda lake. Inspector WGL Fernando will be the OIC of this unit. The main objective of the Special Task Force (STF) is to curb illegal activities taking place, on waters, such as drug trafficking, smuggling of goods, sand, timber smuggling, illegal gem mining and illicit liquor production.



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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