The Nation Briefs

May Day Traffic plan
An estimated eleven May Day rallies are to be held in the city of Colombo and a new traffic plan is implemented by the city police.
The roads that will be closed due to the rallies are F. R. Senanayake Road, Green Path (Library Roundabout to Horton Roundabout), Baseline Road (from Dematagoda junction to Borella junction) and the Park Lane (from Park Road to the Isipathana Road junction).
The police said vehicles from the Kandy Road attending the UPFA rally will be allowed to be parked in Deans Road, Sudu Wella area while the vehicles from Galle Road and Negombo areas attending the rally are allowed to be parked in the Green Path area.
Vehicles from High level Road and Kaduwela areas are allowed parking in Reid Avenue while vehicles from Piliyandala-Kesbewa and Sri Jayawardenapura areas are allowed to be parked in the Independence Square area and Maitland Crescent area respectively.
The vehicles attending the NFF rally will be allowed parking in the Arnold Ratnayake and D.R Wijewardena Mawatha.
The vehicles proceeding to the JVP rally are to be parked in the Isipathana Road, Park Lane, Saranankara Road, Pamankada Road, Highelevel Road and Maya roundabout.

Destroyed paddy stores repaired
The Norwegian funded NGO, FORUT has repaired seven paddy warehouses in the Wanni that were fully destroyed by the war.
The warehouses have the capacity to store nearly 4,000 tonnes of rice, according to FORUT local chief M. Marikar. They were handed over to Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando last week.
The warehouses that were completely destroyed due to war are at Thunukai, Kilinochchi and Vattakkachi.
The FORUT is also planning to build twin store houses in Ramanathapuram and another huge warehouse to store paddy in Mullaitivu.

Plantation workers to get attractive increase

The major plantation unions that are signatories to the Collective Agreement (CA) and the Employers Federation (EF) have agreed to a substantial wage increase to the plantation workers.
Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) senior vice president and Minister Muthu Sivalingam, who did not wish to indicate the amount already agreed upon, said the EF this time had been generous in meeting the wage demand placed before them by the three major plantation unions.
According to him the next round of talks with the EF will take place on May 5 and probably the final decision will be taken on that day. He said the decision to increase the wage was due to the Sri Lankan tea fetching attractive prices in the world market.
The plantation unions that are signatories to the CA are CWC, Joint Plantation Trade Union Committee (JPTUC) and Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU).

SLMC to discuss panel report after May 6

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) that has so far not made any comments about the Moon panel report, alleging war crimes against Sri Lanka will take a decision whether or not to comment on May 6.
A spokesman for the party said the party will make its observation public and official only after the members of the politburo meet on May 6.
The spokesman said as the issue is of a sensitive nature, the party has decided not to make any comments public unless the politburo took a unanimous decision.

Conch shell robbers nabbed

The Sri Lanka Navy attached to SLNS Vijaya in the north western naval command apprehended two persons who were transferring a haul of conch shells at Wannimundalama area in Kalpitiya on April 28.
The navy confiscated 165 commercially valuable conch shells.
The two persons who were seized were handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director in Puttlam for necessary action.

Special unit to monitor Tamil Nadu politicos?

Pressure is mounted on External Affairs Ministry to set up a special unit to monitor the developments in the Tamil Nadu.
According to ministry sources various politicians from the Tamil Nadu have recently begun to make adverse remarks about Sri Lanka and the recently released UN panel report and that there is no mechanism from the external affairs ministry to counter them.
It is learnt as the Tamil politicians make their utterances in English, they are easily picked by the international media.
The Nation learns external affairs minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has agreed to look into it immediately.

Expel traitors, says Azwer

UPFA national list parliamentarian and former minister A. H. M. Azwer says any Member of Parliament raising views jeopardizing national integrity and sovereignty should be expelled from parliament.
He said all MPs have taken their oaths under the constitution to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the country and had also further pledged to preserve the constitution and therefore they have no right to say anything that would jeopardize the country’s image.
He told The Nation that certain members were making statements that contributed to the division of the country and added that their oaths further affirmed that they will not directly or indirectly work towards the separation of the country.

Navy recovers LTTE weapons

Naval troops attached to naval deployment Mullaitivu in the eastern naval area while engaged in land clearing recovered a haul of LTTE assault rifles and hand grenades in the Mullaitivu area on April 27.
The following weapons were recovered by the Sri Lanka Navy. Seven T56 weapons (fixed butt), one T56 weapon (folding butt), two T56 weapons (side butt), three bold groups, two recoil springs and three magazines.