One person was killed and over 12,000 affected by days of heavy rains and strong winds across Sri Lanka, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said on Wednesday.
The death was reported from Matara, in southern Sri Lanka, which was one of the worst affected districts along the southern belt.
The DMC said that over 450 people has been evacuated and relocated to safer shelters since last weekend and the armed forces were on ground in areas which had been inundated.
Over 300 houses were also damaged due to heavy rains and strong winds and the government has promised to grant compensation to the affected families.
Schools remained closed in the Hambantota District in the south on Wednesday and will remain closed on Thursday due to bad weather, the Education Ministry said.
In several areas along the southern coastal belt, rough seas had caused sea water to come in land causing floods and immediate evacuations.
The Meteorology Department said in its latest weather update that more rains were expected in the coming days with about 50 to 75 mm falls expected at some places in North-central, Eastern, Uva, Southern Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces.
"General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by temporary localized strong winds and lightning during thundershowers," the Meteorology Department said.
China on Wednesday strongly backed Hong Kong's move to exclude pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong from elections for local councilors, a decision seen as likely to fuel further public anger in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
The statement from the Cabinet's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Wednesday came as Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam warned of the economic damage caused by months of anti-government protests but said the government would not address underlying social and economic concerns until the violence ended.
Hong Kong's economy has hit the buffers amid the ongoing violence, with the government saying visitor numbers have fallen by half and retail sales are off by 25 percent in recent months against the same period last year.
Wong, 23, has been repeatedly arrested and jailed in relation to his advocacy of greater democracy, but has not played a major role in the current protests that began in June and have grown more violent.
Despite, that China's Communist leaders have targeted him in accusing foreign powers of colluding with anti-China separatists to foment unrest.
The Cabinet office statement, citing spokesman Yang Guang, said it "agreed and supported" the decision by the Hong Kong elections office, saying Wong had been "constantly pleading with foreign powers for intervention" in the territory's affairs.
Wong's advocacy "challenged the bottom line of the principle of 'one country, two systems,'" the office said, referring to the governing framework under which Hong Kong was handed over from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
Wong is "one of the chief culprits in the plot to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and fundamentally does not meet the requirements of adhering to (Hong Kong's mini-constitution) and showing loyalty to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that are demanded of a candidate for office," the statement said.
Wong had disclosed his disqualification as a candidate in the Nov. 24 local district council elections Tuesday. He called the decision politically driven and said it would backfire. "It will just trigger more and more Hong Kongers to take to the street and also vote in the election."
In a speech to a trade conference, Lam said it was a "distressing time for Hong Kong trade and business" and that the violence must end.
"Once calmness returns, we are committed to finding solutions to some of those deep-seated problems revealed by the extensive protests over these past four months," she said.
Nanning, Oct 29 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Two people were killed and nine others remain trapped in a roof collapse at a polymetallic mine in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local authorities said Tuesday.
The accident happened around 6:30 p.m. Monday at an ore field in Daping Village of Nandan County. The mine where the roof caving occurred belongs to a local mining company.
An initial investigation showed that 11 people were trapped, including the two people who were found dead, said the publicity department of Nandan County.
The shaft where the accident occurred measures 3.7 km deep. The high temperature and inferior air quality at the site of the accident have caused difficulty for the rescue work.
So far, rescue facilities and supplies have been sent into the shaft. Rescue work is ongoing.
Beijing, Oct 29 (Xinhua/UNB) -- China's renewable energy generation rose 11 percent year on year by the end of September to 1.44 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA) Tuesday.
Of the total, hydropower topped 893.8 billion kWh in the first nine months of the year, up 7.9 percent, while wind power stood at 291.4 billion kWh, up 8.9 percent year on year, said Li Chuangjun, deputy director of the new energy and renewable energy sources bureau of the NEA, at a press conference.
Meanwhile, solar photovoltaic power hit 171.5 billion kWh, up 28.1 percent, while biomass generated 80.4 billion kWh of electricity, up 19.4 percent from a year ago, Li said.
The country wasted less renewable energy during the period amid a rising utilization rate, according to Li.
The utilization rate of hydropower came in at 95.9 percent in the first three quarters, up 3.3 percentage points, while average curtailment rates of wind power and photovoltaic power dropped by 3.5 percentage points and 1 percentage point, respectively.
"China advanced the green and low-carbon transformation of energy in the first three quarters," said Song Wen, deputy director of the development and planning office of the NEA.
By the end of September, non-fossil energy accounted for 37.2 percent of the country's installed 6,000-kilowatt and above generating units, up 0.8 percentage points compared with the same period last year, Song added.
Islamabad, Oct 29 (AP/UNB) — Washington's Afghan peace envoy remained in Pakistan on Tuesday as part of efforts to find a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 18 -year war, even though President Donald Trump hasn't expressed any interest in resuming talks with the Taliban.
The envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday and was expected to hold talks with the country's powerful military army chief on Tuesday.
Officials in Pakistan, where the Taliban's governing council is believed to be headquartered, has been pushing for a resumption of direct U.S.-Taliban talks since they collapsed in early September after Trump declared a deal that seemed imminent dead. Trump's declaration followed a series of violent attacks in the Afghan capital that killed several people, including a U.S. soldier.
During their meeting Monday, Khan called on all sides in Afghanistan's protracted war to reduce the violence.
Civilian casualties have been rising fast in recent months, according to the United Nations which blames both insurgents and U.S. and Afghan government security forces. So far this year there have been more than 8,000 casualties.
For the first time the United Nations reported earlier this year that U.S. and Afghan security forces killed more civilians than insurgents.
Khan said in a statement that it was "important for all sides to take practical steps for the reduction of violence in Afghanistan."
The Taliban's political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Saturday that if the United States signs the agreement Trump declared dead there will be a cease-fire first with U.S. and NATO troops followed by a negotiated cease-fire with Afghan Security Forces.
"If the U.S. returns to the negotiation table and signs the agreement then there will be a cease-fire and reduction of violence," Shaheen said.
Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan from Afghanistan, where he met with leaders including President Ashraf Ghani, who has mostly dismissed any talks not led by his government.
But Afghanistan's leadership has just come out of a presidential election that has been marred by allegations of corruption and fraud and nearly a month after Afghans went to the polls, in seemingly low numbers, no results have been released. Preliminary results are now expected on Nov. 14.
Ghani and his current partner in a so-called unity government, Abdullah Abddullah, are the leading contenders for president. The two men jointly lead Afghanistan's unity government cobbled together by the U.S. after the 2014 presidential elections were so deeply flawed a clear winner could not be determined.
Before his stop in Afghanistan, Khalilzad was in Moscow meeting with Chinese and Russian representatives as well as holding yet another meeting with Pakistani officials.
Following that meeting a statement was released calling for all sides to reduce violence and get back to talking about finding a peaceful end to a devastatingly long war.