Earlier the Government had said it expects the election to be held on February 10. (Colombo Gazette) He said that the election is likely to be held on or before February 17 next year.Deshapriya said that the election will not be held on a Sunday or public holiday. The Elections Commission today said that it will consider a request with regards to the date to hold the Local Government elections.Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said that there is a request to hold the election on a Saturday.
“Maybe it’ll be OK over winter, but when it comes into next summer and if there’s yet another heatwave, that will not be great for this animal. The water temperature is too warm. To come into the Thames is really rather odd and of course there are concerns about pollution and whether it would pick up a disease.”Moving Benny would entail a carefully coordinated operation along the lines of that deployed to fly Keiko to Iceland after he began developing a string of ailments at his Oregon Coast Aquarium home.Dr Parsons said: “The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society are working on Beluga conservation in Iceland. It could go where the Free Willy whale was for its conservation. “You tend to do it in interim stages; you take it into one of these sea life centres and rehabilitate it for a while, give it antibiotics and ship it by plane.”With Beluga whales they sometimes beach themselves so they can actually cope with being in shallow water and being moved around [on a plane]. Other species get very very stressed very very quickly.”The first step would be to lower a giant sling to pick up Benny from the water, before transferring it into a water tank and, after a period of rehabilitation at a British aquarium, load it onto a freight transporter plane for the flight north. Keiko gained fame in 1993 for his role in the film ‘Free Willy’Credit:Hulton Archive At the Icelandic sanctuary benny would probably be joined by two other Beluga whales which were rescued from captivity in China. A dramatic three stage removal operation could theoretically be mounted to rescue the Beluga whale which has found itself splashing about in the mouth of the river Thames.Animal welfare experts could use the same methods deployed to lift and fly Keiko – the whale which starred in the film Free Willy – to a safe sanctuary in 1993.But for the moment Benny the Beluga will be allowed to remain in the Thames unhindered, unless it begins to show signs of ill health or distress.With the waters of the Thames and North Sea cooling with the onset of winter scientists believe the whale will be happy where it is until spring.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Then, if necessary they could lift it in a giant ‘wet sling’, before transferring the creature to a tank and flying it 1,148 miles to a sea sanctuary off Iceland.Here Benny could be rehomed in a 32,000 square-metre sea pen in Klettsvik Bay, in an operation that would recall the one mounted when Keiko, a 10,000-pound killer whale, was flown from an aquarium in Newport, Oregon, to a tiny coastal Icelandic island. The Beluga whale in the Thames near Gravesend, KentCredit:PA While Benny has been happily feeding in the Thames for a week and a half, there are worries about the danger it faces from pollution, plastics and boats.It is likely the whale is unhappy without any other members of its species, as they are highly social animals. In the whale sanctuary, the Bluga would have companions to play with.These creatures, nicknamed the ‘canaries of the sea’, are known for their lively behavior, and are often seen throwing sticks to each other and communicating in clicks and whistles. Marine biologist Dr Chris Parsons told The Sunday Telegraph: “In the long term if this animal starts failing, what they could do is move him or her to an interim facility in one of the Sea Life centres in the museum, then move it to the Beluga whale sanctuary. British Divers Marine Life Rescue, the team charged with taking care of Benny, denied such plan was currently in the works, adding that at present they were still monitoring the whale and hoping it swims out to the North Sea, and finds its way home.A spokesperson said they were assessing options for the whale, but were wary of lifting it in straps, which could be stressful, or letting it fall into captivity.If the animal strands, it will be assessed by a vet using information from Canadian specialists with beluga experience, to determine the best outcome. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.