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Travel restrictions extended until 07 June as repeatedly demanded by experts

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The ongoing travel restrictions have been extended till June 7, according to Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando. Addressing the media at the Department of Government Information, Colombo, he said the government had taken that decision in keeping with expert advice to contain the spread of the pandemic.

When restrictions are temporarily lifted today only one person per family could leave home to purchase essential items.

The restrictions would also be relaxed on May 31 and June 4 for the public to purchase essential items.

The Minister said that vehicular movements would also continue to be restricted even when restrictions are eased temporarily.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that the travel ban would be relaxed at 4am today and reimposed at 11pm. He added the restrictions would be relaxed again at 4am on May 31 and reimposed at 11pm. They would be relaxed again at 4am on June 4 and reimposed at 11pm on the same day and would be in force till June 7.

General Silva said that only those engaged in providing essential services would be permitted to travel when the travel ban was relaxed and only one person from each family would be permitted to leave home to purchase essential items.

The Army Commander said that only shops selling essential items and some banks will be open.

Public transport would not be available during the travel restrictions.

General Silva said that delivery services would be permitted to operate during the travel ban.

The travel ban had been extended on recommendations made by medical experts and others, he said.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana also addressed the press.



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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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