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Torrential rain forecast for Japan

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Tokyo, May 27 (IANS) Japan’s weather agency warned of torrential downpours in some parts of the southwestern prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki from Monday night through Tuesday, calling for caution as the rows of clouds may suddenly increase the risk of disasters.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said on Monday that rain is becoming heavier, especially along the Pacific, due to a warm, moist air mass flowing into a front stretching from a low-pressure system hovering over the Sea of Japan, Xinhua news agency reported.

Very heavy rain and localised thunderstorms may hit, the JMA said, adding that linear rain bands could form in Miyazaki and Kagoshima in particular.

Rainfall in the 24 hours through Tuesday noon is expected to reach up to 300 mm in southern Kyushu, 200 mm in the Shikoku region, 180 mm in northern Kyushu and Amami, 150 mm in the regions of Kansai and Okinawa, and 120 mm in the Tokai region, according to the agency.

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Weather officials said atmospheric conditions might get very unstable through Wednesday in areas from the southwestern regions of Okinawa and Amami to the country’s east.

In the 24 hours through Wednesday noon, rainfall is expected to be 100 to 200 mm in the Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions and 100 to 150 mm in Kansai and the Izu Island chain in the Pacific, south of Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the first typhoon of the season, Ewiniar, which formed on Sunday, is moving northeast while developing and is expected to approach the Daitojima region of Okinawa in southwestern Japan.

–IANS

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Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

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Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

Kampala, July 22 (IANS) Ugandan security agencies have had heavy deployment ahead of an anti-corruption protest in the capital city of Kampala, a police spokesperson said here Monday.

Luke Owoyesigire, deputy spokesperson of Kampala Metropolitan Police, told Xinhua by telephone that various security agencies had already deployed their personnel as a precautionary move.

“They (security officers) are already around. They will be around today, tomorrow, and throughout the week,” Owoyesigire said.

The spokesperson said different groups had engaged in continuous mobilization on social media calling upon people to join in the Tuesday march, which the police decided to stop, saying it would attract criminal activities.

“People have other intentions of destabilizing public peace,” Owoyesigire said, before confirming that a message had been sent out to various sector commanders to deploy in their areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the police, mass occupation of streets would likely result in “significant traffic congestion, disruption of trade, and disturbances to public order.”

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The commanders were ordered to “utilise intelligence, be firm and professional.” They were also ordered to be vigilant, not to allow destruction of property or abuse to human lives.

The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, in a live televised address Saturday to the nation, accused the opposition of working with foreign elements to cause chaos in the country through riots, illegal demonstrations and inconsiderate processions.

“These people are unfair and inconsiderate, and they should check themselves, or we will have no alternative but to check them,” Museveni said.

–IANS

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Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

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Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

Jakarta, July 22 (IANS) Indonesia’s state-owned company Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) on Monday emphasised its commitment to encouraging local community participation in developing the Mandalika special economic zone (SEZ) in Central Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara province.

“Our main focus currently is to provide training and certification for local workers to enhance international competitiveness. Through this training, we believe the capabilities of the local community will improve, ultimately enabling them to enhance their welfare independently,” said ITDC President Director Ari Respati.

According to ITDC, its initiatives include a variety of training and community empowerment programs, such as foreign language training, mechanics training, developing an integrated farming system in buffer villages, mushroom cultivation, handicrafts, and marshals training, among others.

“It is hoped that in the development and management of the Mandalika special economic zone, we can prepare the community to welcome various international events, thereby improving the overall welfare of the surrounding community,” Respati added, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit race will be held in the Mandalika area from September 27 to 29.

–IANS

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Sri Lanka's minority Tamils decide to field candidate for Presidential election

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Sri Lanka's minority Tamils decide to field candidate for Presidential election

Sri Lanka's minority Tamils decide to field candidate for Presidential election

Colombo, July 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Tamil political parties have decided to field a common candidate to represent minority Tamils at the upcoming Presidential election slated to be held in September.

It will be after more than four decades that a Tamil could feature as a candidate in Presidential polls.

Late Kumar Ponnambalam, a leader of All Ceylon Tamil Congress, was the last Tamil Presidential candidate who contested in the 1982 Presidential race. He was assassinated in Colombo in 2020.

The group of Tamil political parties, including Tamil People’s Alliance led by former Northern chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran, Selvam Adaikkalanathan’s Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), D. Siddharthan’s People’s Liberation Organisation Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Srikantha’s Tamil National Party and Suresh Premachandran’s Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), together with the leaders of a civil society groups including Tamil People’s Congress Association (TPCA) have now come to a consensus to nominate a common candidate to represent the minority Tamils in the island nation.

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However, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) – the main Tamil political party in the country with the largest number of MPs under the umbrella group of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – has not joined the pact signed on Monday.

The date for the decisive presidential poll is to be announced in the coming week while unconfirmed reports indicate that the election might take place on September 21 with nominations to be accepted by mid-August.

Incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe, together with his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country amidst public protest, is completing his five-year term with the Election Commission now empowered to announce the nominations date for the next election.

The main Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), who broke away from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), and Marxist party Jathika Jana Balawegaya (National People’s Power) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake have announced candidacy.

Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) are yet to announce whether they will be contesting the elections together or separately.

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–IANS

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Four die in armed attack in Nigeria

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Four die in armed attack in Nigeria

Four die in armed attack in Nigeria

Abuja, July 22 (IANS) At least four people, including a police inspector, were killed in an attack by unknown gunmen in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Abia on Sunday, the police said Monday.

The attack claimed the lives of three civilians as the gunmen targeted a group of security personnel on patrol in the commercial city of Aba, said Maureen Chinaka, the spokeswoman for the Abia police.

Two assailants were killed and several others escaped with bullet wounds after security forces responded to the attack, Chinaka said, Xinhua news agency reported.

An investigation has been launched into the attack, the spokeswoman said.

–IANS

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250,000 stimulant tablets seized in Myanmar

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250,000 stimulant tablets seized in Myanmar

250,000 stimulant tablets seized in Myanmar

Yangon, July 22 (IANS) Myanmar police seized 250,000 stimulant tablets in eastern Myanmar’s Shan State, according to the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) on Monday.

Acting on a tip-off, the joint anti-narcotics task force inspected a motorcycle in Ywangan Township of Shan State on July 17 and confiscated the drugs, it said.

The seized drugs had a street value of 125 million kyats (38,487 US dollars) and a suspect was arrested, it added, reported Xinhua news agency.

Further investigation was underway, the committee said.

–IANS

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