News in Brief:

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 February 1999, 11:58 GMT]
Sri Lankan Government plans radical change in the present electoral system; Night time travelling in Jaffna lagoon will be banned from February 15; Cabinet approves establishment of new zoo at Pinnawela.

Night travel to Jaffna banned

The military spokesman, Brigadier Sunil Tennekone, announced today that displaced people from Jaffna, currently living in the LTTE controlled areas of the Vanni, would only be allowed to cross the Jaffna lagoon to Gurunager during the day.

Travel will only be permitted from 9.00 a.m. in the morning to 4.00p.m. in the afternoon, he said.

The military spokesman made the announcement at a cabinet press briefing presided by the Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera.

This restriction would be enforced from February 15.

The new restrictions would be communicated to those living in the LTTE controlled areas through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the spokesman said

Brigadier Sunil Tennekone added that the restrictions had been brought in to prevent LTTE penetration into the Jaffna peninsula.

Plans for new electoral system

A radical change in the present electoral system will be announced shortly and a proposal to this effect would be submitted for public debate before being tabled in the parliament, said a senior minister in the PA government at the cabinet press conference held today.

Prof. G.L.Peiris, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs further said that the majority of political parties and other institutions had criticised the present electoral system as the root cause of the election violence and other malpractice.

The time had come to replace the present electoral system with a new one and he would reveal the new proposal shortly, Minister Peiris added.

Cabinet announces new zoo

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a second zoo at Pinnawela on 40-acres of land.

This proposal was submitted by the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dharmasiri Senanayake, as the present zoo at Dehiwala could not be expanded due to a lack of space.

The announcement was made by the Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, at the cabinet press briefing.


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