Unrelenting rains continue to wreak havoc in 12 districts around the country, leaving 1,024 persons displaced, over 22,000 persons affected and six dead.The Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Kegalle, Kalutara, Anuradhapura, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Matale districts were affected by the South-Western monsoonal rains.
Landslide warnings have been issued to Kalutara, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Galle, Colombo and Gampaha Districts since the rainfall within the past 24 hours has exceeded 100mm, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said.
Amnesty International (AI) has commended Sri Lanka for its ‘welcome progress’ on the issue of disappearances with the criminalization of enforced disappearances in March 2018, giving partial effect to the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and operationalizing the Office of Missing Persons.
AI said the government must support the spirit of these measures by proactively supporting truth-seeking efforts by the families of the disappeared to get answers, almost a decade after the end of the armed conflict.
Likewise, Sri Lanka should promptly recognize the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of victims or their relatives, AI said in a news release.AI also called on the Government to provide information to the families of the disappeared, with detailed lists and information of persons who surrendered to the armed forces in the final phase of the war.
AI said the Government, acknowledging the grievances presented by family members in June 2017, promised to release these lists. According to surviving family members, more than 100 cadres of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who surrendered at the end of the war in May 2009, have subsequently disappeared. In August 2013, 13 of those families filed habeas corpus applications in the courts of Sri Lanka, seeking information about their whereabouts.
The overall poverty level in Sri Lanka has declined in the recent years according to the Central Bank’s 2017 Annual Report. Household income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient declined to 0.45 based on the estimates of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) - 2016 from 0.48 in the HIES - 2012/13.
All country-wide Security Force Headquarters, Divisions, Forward Maintenance Areas, Brigades, Regimental Centres, Army Training Schools, Units, Field Headquarters and War Hero Rehabilitation Centres on the directions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake commemorated their fallen comrades concurrently at 9.30 am at all those places on Friday (18th May).
President Maithripala Sirisena will hold a special discussion on the freshly-signed Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) next Tuesday (May 22), Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said.Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, the Secretary said the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has also been invited to this meeting scheduled at 12.30 pm at the Presidential Secretariat.
Sri Lanka's agricultural productivity lags behind other South and East Asian countries and the World Bank has financed the Agriculture Modernization Project to close the gap through diversification, commercialization and value addition, the World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough said.