All elephants, wild and tame would come under a two-day survey as a prelude to the first ever island-wide elephant survey due in August this year.

Wildlife officials said all activities of elephants would be monitored, including their appetites, behaviour and conduct.

In a bid to ease the growing human-elephant conflict in the country, wildlife authorities said yesterday that moves were underway to restrict the habitat of rogue elephants to a 2500 acre jungle area in Veheragala, Lunugamvehera and Horawapathana.

Wildlife Conservation Department, Director General, Chandrawansa Pathiraja said rogue elephants from other areas would be trans-located to these loca

Farmers who depend on water from Makulara Oya for their paddy cultivation and for drinking purposes are perturbed that the only water resource in the area that serviced a large population would be ruined because of illegal sand mining.

Sri Lanka Tea Board ceremonially launched the new logo for Ozone-Friendly Ceylon Tea together and Agro-climatic regional names/logos as Certification Marks under Geographical Indication, to protect and add value to premium Ceylon Tea.

Worldwide demand and popularity of Ceylon Tea has made it a global brand. The country has allocated substantial funds to promote Ceylon Tea.

Singappulikanda, a hill at Pathakada in Pelmadulla has been declared a high-risk area prone to land slips and the occupants in 21 houses on its slopes evacuated by the Ratnapura District Disaster Management Centre. This step was taken by officials of the centre who inspected the hill after an earthslip last week.

The World Bank yesterday signed an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka to provide US$100 million in additional financing for the Sri Lanka Road Sector Assistance Project, the bank said.

Seven people were killed, 44 houses destroyed and 330 badly damaged as a result of the adverse weather conditions prevailing in the country, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said yesterday. Heavy rains had affected 24,518 people especially in the Ratnapura District.

The Wildlife Conservation Department Director General Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja said that investigations were being carried out on several incidents of alleged smuggling of baby elephants from national parks and reserves around the country.

The Wildlife Conservation Department has planned to conduct a census of the elephant population in Sri Lankan forests this year. A senior official of the department said the enumeration will commence during the drought this August when water holes and minor irrigation canals run dry compelling wild animals to go in search of water to reservoirs and tanks.

The announcement by the Treasury and Customs officials of a new excise duty on hybrids is to destabilize the market and reverse the momentum that propelled the importation of environment-friendly, low-fuel consuming hybrid cars.