News in Brief:
[TamilNet, Friday, 22 January 1999, 10:42 GMT]
The final campaign meetings for Monday's North West Provincial Council elections are to be held today; 80 Sri Lankan Naval personnel are being detained at Karainakar base in Jaffna and rains destroy Jaffna crops
Final election meetings scheduled
The political parties contesting the forthcoming Northwestern Provincial Council will hold their last campaign meetings today. The parties will not be allowed to hold meetings after midnight today in accordance with Sri Lankan elections laws.
The ruling PA's meeting will be held in Kurunagalle while the main opposition, UNP, will hold its meeting at Kuliayapittiya. The JVP will hold its meeting in Puttalam.
The leaders of the parties are expected to take part in the meetings.
Yukthiya, a Sinhala weekly said in its latest issue that leaders and major candidates of the parties wear bullet proof vests when they campaign for the elections.
80 SLN personnel held
About 80 Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) personnel being charged for various offences are being detained at the Karainagar Naval Base in the Jaffna peninsula for the past several months said human rights sources in the northern town.
The parents of the detained servicemen have complained to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about the detention.
The Chairman of the HRC, Jaffna branch, Mr. Siritharan went yesterday to the naval base to visit the detainees.
However he was not allowed to see them as there were no senior officers present who could authorise his visit, the sources said.
Jaffna crops damaged in rains
Jaffna Hospital treated 338,682 patients last year according to a report by released by the hospital authorities. 282,324 people were treated at the Open Patients Department (OPD) while 51,248 were admitted to the wards.
Meanwhile agriculture department officials in Jaffna said heavy rains in the northern peninsula during the last two months have damaged the cultivation programs there, including a third of the vegetable crop and two fifths of the onion crop.
According to the officials, 56 percent of chilli cultivation and 60 percent of tobacco plantations have been destroyed by the rain.
40 percent of the onion cultivation, 14 percent rice cultivation and 33 percent of the vegetable cultivation were also destroyed in the rain they added.