Bad weather warning issued

Occasional showers or thundershowers will be fairly widespread over most parts of the island. Fairly strong winds are expected at times in the sea areas off the Southern, South-eastern and Eastern coasts. Therefore these sea areas may be rough at times.The naval and fishing communities have been requested to refrain from their activities in the sea area off the coast from Matara to Pottuvil via Hambantota. Under it’s influence, showers and windy weather will continue further during the next few days over the country. The early warning centre of the Department of Meteorology issued a bad weather warning for parts of Sri Lanka today.The warning notes that the atmospheric disturbance in the vicinity of Sri-lanka has intensified into a low pressure area and is located to the South East of Sri-Lanka. Heavy rainfalls (more than 100mm) are also likely at some places in the Eastern, Central, Uva and Southern provinces.The Department of Meteorology also said that showers or thundershowers will continue at times in the sea areas off the Southern, South-Eastern and Eastern coasts. read more

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Security Council ends ban on import of Sierra Leone rough diamonds

Citing the Government of Sierra Leone’s increased efforts to control its diamond mining areas and industry, the United Nations Security Council today dropped its ban on precious stones from the West African country imposed in a bid to prevent illicitly traded rough diamonds being used to finance armed conflict. The Council’s President for June, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, also cited Sierra Leone’s full participation in the Kimberley Process as among the reasons the 15-nation body agreed not to renew the three-year old embargo, which expired at midnight yesterday. The Kimberley Process is a negotiating procedure to establish minimum acceptable international standards for national certification covering the import and export of rough diamonds. It also includes participation by the European Community and countries that produce and trade in the stones, industry representatives and civil society. “Members of the Council commended the Government’s efforts to strengthen and improve their management of the diamond industry,” Ambassador Lavrov said in a press statement, adding that they encouraged Freetown to continue these efforts and to work closely with UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in ensuring the security of the diamond mining areas. He stressed that Council members agreed to continue to pay close attention to the diamond sector of Sierra Leone because of its importance to the future stability and security of the country. read more

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