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Tamil MPs upbeat after discussion with Minister Rajapksa

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil MPs were convinced that a positive outcome could be achieved over instances where Mahaweli Authority officials were taking over private lands belonging to the Northern residents, TNA Kilinochchi District MP S. Sritharan said yesterday after a meeting with Minister of Irrigation Chamal Rajapaksa.

The MP said that the meeting with Minister Rajapaksa on Wednesday had been extremely fruitful and his attitude was commendable.

“We informed him of the actions of Mahaweli Authority officials and he immediately stopped it. He also ordered an investigation into the allegations. These are commendable actions and we are extremely pleased withthe way it was handled,” MP Sritharan said.

The TNA said that the Minister had also responded positively to the request for making the Northern Kalmunai sub-divisional secretariat, a fully-fledged secretariat. The residents in Kalmunai had staged continuous protests over that issue, the MP said. Some 29 Grama Niladari Divisions come under the Northern Kalmunai sub-divisional secretariats. “Many sub-divisional secretariats have been converted to divisional secretariat but for some reason Kalmunai sub-divisional secretariat has been left out.”

TNA MPs M.A. Sumanthiran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, S. Sritharan and Charles Nirmalanathan, Tamil National People’s Front’s Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and Selvarajah Kajendran, Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani’s C.V. Wigneswaran and several other Tamil MPs met Minister Rajapaksa.



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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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