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Sri Lanka begins voting for parliamentary polls

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Colombo: Voters in Sri Lanka queued up on Monday to cast their votes for a parliamentary election amidst tight security to elect a new government.

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Around 15 million people are expected to cast their votes in the island nation in over 12,000 polling centres, reported Xinhua news agency.

Voting commenced at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.

An estimated 75,000 police officers and special task forces have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order along with over 50 foreign observers being present at polling booths.

The parliamentary elections was announced by President Maithripala Sirisena in June after he dissolved parliament just six months after being elected to power.

A close battle between the United National Front (UNF) coalition and the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will be seen in the elections.

The UNF is led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe while the UPFA has former president Mahinda Rajapakse contesting as its main candidate from the province of Kurunegala.

Rajapakse is looking at making a political comeback and eyeing to be the nation’s new prime minister if the opposition wins majority in the polls.

The department of elections said voting results are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

(IANS)

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Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks

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Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks
This is a Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks. wikimedia commons

Colombo, Dec 26, 2017: Sri Lanka will convert two large garbage dumps here into urban parks next year as part of a city beautification programme, a minister announced on Tuesday.

Addressing the Colombo City Beautification Awards Ceremony in Colombo, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said that garbage could no longer be dumped at the Meethotamulla or Bloemendhal garbage mountains and plans were afoot to construct a large scale national landfill site in Aruwakkaluwa in Puttalam, to address the government’s garbage disposal issue, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ranawaka said that all steps would also be taken to ensure that no harm is caused to the environment when constructing the Aruwakkaluwa sanitary landfill.

With no proper garbage disposal in place, garbage from the capital was dumped at the Meethotamulla Garbage mountain for years with some environmentalists claiming that nearly 800 tons of solid waste was added daily. (IANS)

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