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Appeasement or honesty of purpose is the question

May 19 (SLW) In an extremely courageous move, President Mahinda Rajapaksha this evening appointed Sivanesathurai Chandrakanth alias Pillayan alias Kubeiran as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, realizing a two-decade-old dream of a Tamil Chief Minister for the Eastern Province who is also acceptable to the Sinhalese. The campaign to appoint a Tamil for the Northeast Chief Minister post was ongoing since 1987, particularly for neighboring India. more..

Let loving kindness prevail: President

May 19 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Vesak message said our hope should be to have a prosperous country without armaments and fear of enemies and robbers and a country in which all could live in tranquility. The message said. It is with much devotion and faith that I join all Sri Lankan Buddhists in celebrating the great Vesak festival. We know that the greatest homage we could pay to the Buddha is to live the Vesak season according to the teachings of the Buddha. more..

Karumakkarayo and Wansakkarayo

May 19 (LG) The political party of the Wansakkarayo represented by Somawansa and Weerawansa canvassed hard to make Mahinda Rajapakse the President at the last presidential election by misleading the voters. They did this by singing his praises, erecting platforms, and carrying out an adverse campaign against the other contenders, with JVP Secretary Tilvin Silva publicly proclaiming that the JVP had no objection to anyone being elected as long as it was not a candidate from the UNP. more..

Eastern Provincial Council Election & its Results

May 19 (LG) The swearing in of Sivanesathurai Chandirakanthan (better known as Pillaiyan, his nom de guerre of militancy days) as the chief minister of the newly created eastern provincial council on May 16, 2008 marks a new turn in Sri Lanka politics. It came about after a great deal of backdoor bickering, rumours and heart burning. Even as the decision to choose Pillaiyan was being debated in the high security office of President Rajapakse, more..

Indian economy resilient, growth story to continue: SL banker

May 19 (PTI) India's economic growth story will continue at a fast pace as it has the resilience to overcome the challenges emanating from both domestic and international developments, including spiraling inflation, a senior Sri Lankan central banker said. "The Indian economy is poised to grow very fast... I think its economy is resilient...On the policy front, there are a couple of challenges...But more..

Pillayan blessed by Mahanayakes

May 19 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s most Venerable Buddhist Mahanayake’s invoked blessings on the newly appointed Chief Minister (CM) of eastern province on Sunday. CM Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan visited Kandy to get blessings from Mahanayake theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters of the Siyam Maha Nikaya. Invoking blessings, Asgiriya Mahanayake Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha thero commended the CM for joining democratic process leaving the arms behind. more..

'No funds' for independent lawyers

May 19 (BBC) The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) investigating serious human rights abuses says it could not recruit independent lawyers to assist the probe due to financial constrains. Chairman of the CoI, retired Supreme Court Judge Nissanka Udalagama, told BBC Sandeshaya that the probe can only get the assistance from the government lawyers due to lack of funds. The presidential commission was appointed by president Rajapaksa to probe 15 serious rights violations including the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur. more..

What is next step of the JVP?

May 19 (AT) Rumours are spreading on JVP’s behavior on inaugural Eastern Provincial Council meeting .At present both the UPFA and the UNP are waiting the JVP’s act on this issue. The JVP said it could now play a crucial role because the UPFA and other opposition parties were tied at 17-seats each. Leading JVP front-liner said the party believed the newly-elected council was in crisis even before it started functioning but he did not indicate the JVP would respond. more..

Two more joins 'Hisbullah group'

May 19 (BBC) Two more provincial councillors have joined the dissident group in the eastern province, group leader MLAM Hisbullah said. He told BBC Sandeshaya that the two Muslim members of National Congress (NA) pledged to support his group. The leader of the National Congress, Minister MLM Athaulla, has pledged full support to Pillayan on Friday. Protesting President Rajapaksa’s move to appoint Mr. Pillayan as the Chief Minister of the east, more..

Bring Victory to Dharma! - JVP

May 19 (LT) Sri Lankans are going through a period of crises that definitely hinders living literally a life in accordance with Buddhist Philosophy; at a time when Dharma has been suppressed by unrighteousness states the Wesak message issued by the JVP. Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe’s message states, “However, Dharma cannot be suppressed eternally. All local and international ‘Mara senas’ could be defeated” and calls on all Buddhists and more..

Be Mindful and Be Diligent

May 19 (AT) Today as human beings, we are fortunate to reflect upon the Path of Peace and freedom that the Supreme teacher, the Buddha profoundly expounded. This is the 2552nd anniversary of Parinibbana of the Buddha which millions of his devotees celebrate in the globe. Not only Buddhists, but also many wise members in other faiths respect and admire remarkable and incomparable inner qualities of the Buddha and his marvelous teachings. more..

Domestic Workers From Sri Lanka to Be Insured

May 19 (AN) Saudi Arabia will soon introduce a mandatory insurance scheme for Sri Lankan domestic workers. The decision was taken during talks between Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi and Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Promotion and Labor Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at Riyadh’s Royal Conference Palace on Saturday. Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Ageed Mohamed Marleen and Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Kingsley Ranawake were present. more..

Sri Lanka charities win anti-AIDS funding: World Bank

May 19 (LBO) Two small charities in Sri Lanka has won 40,000 US dollars in grants to work on reducing discrimination and stigma associated with AIDS and HIV, the World Bank said. The grants came of South Asia Development Marketplace initiative where 26 proposals from the region won grants from a million US dollar pool. Lanka +, a community based organization, won funds to establish a small scale entrepreneurship program for and by people living with HIV. more..

2 Lankans with wireless sets held

May 19 (TOI) Sleuths of the 'Q' branch of Tamil Nadu Police on Sunday arrested two Lankan refugees and their associate, a youth from Madurai, while trying to smuggle walkie-talkies and resin to Jaffna. Working on a tip-off, the police team intercepted a Tata Sumo on Raja Mill Road in Madurai at 1.00 pm and arrested P Viji alias Jayaraj of Pesalai in Sri Lanka and T Chinnavan alias Padmarasa, a native of Jaffna. more..

Let all of us strive to follow his noble preaching of compassion - Ranil W

May 19 (SLW) Wesak day marks the day on which Lord Buddha, the preacher of pristine truth to the World was born, enlightened and died, in different years. The whole World celebrates this day in recognition of the pure services Lord Buddha rendered to the world by his enlightenment. Let all of us strive to follow his noble preaching of compassion, love and forgiveness and model our lives in accordance with them, with honesty and integrity. more..

Ten Questions for the Peace-Lovers

May 19 (LG) Peace-pundits (and a host of like-minded others) regard the wooden-headed nationalists - those who are persuaded that the military option is ineluctable - as the pitiful victims of a fear-driven pathology of the spirit that obstinately refuses to consider humane modes of conflict-resolution which entail an eschewal of violence. The ennobling sentiments behind such a stance must stir the conscience of all civilized folk - but more..

Are you masculine? Feminine? Or both?

May 19 (LG) Psychologists have found that people with traditional sex-typed behaviour patterns often experience difficulty in heterosexual relationships because their response styles are incompatible with those of the other sex. The relatively detached and logical style of the male does not blend with the more sociable and expressive style of the female. A behavioural mixture of masculine and feminine or androgynous individual is often able to do whatever is adaptive or compatible in relationships with either sex. more..

Sri Lankan government installs paramilitary leader as chief minister in the East

May 19 (wsws) Claims by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse that the May 10 election for the Eastern Provincial Council represents the return of democracy to the “liberated” province are a fraud. The poll was an exercise in ballot rigging, intimidation and thuggery that took place amid a massive deployment of some 20,000 troops and other military personnel as well as 27,000 police. more..

48 killed in 2008 due to rat fever

May 19 (LD) Forty-eight fatalities have been reported due to leptopyrosis, or commonly known as rat fever, so far this year from various part of the country, the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry said. Of the 1,682 persons diagnosed with the disease, Matale accounts for 217 patients. For Colombo, the figure stands at 164, followed by 159 from Galle, 157 from Matara, 151 from Kalutara, 146 from Gampaha, 109 from Kandy, 83 from Kegalle and 81 from Ratnapura. more..

Pillayan regrets attack on Dalada Maligawa

May 19 (LD) The newly-elected Chief Minister of the East has expressed regret over the attack on the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy a decade ago, when he visited the site venerated by Buddhists yesterday (May 18th). Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, also leader of the TMVP, paid homage to the sacred tooth relic from the outer shrine, since the inner chamber was closed at the time, an administrative official of the Dalada Maligawa told ‘Lanka Dissent.’ more..

Veteran musician Lionel Algama passes away

May 19 (LD) Veteran musician Lionel Algama passed away at a private hospital in Colombo yesterday (May 18th) aged 74 years. He was born in Gampaha on March 24, 1935. Mr. Algama was the recipient of state and Sarasavi awards for his music direction in films ‘Parasathu Mal’ and ‘Patachara,’ and honoured with the Kalabhooshana title. He also directed the music for ‘Sambudu Himige Sandaham Sisilen’, the song of Buddhist Dhamma Schools. more..

UNP crisis worsens after the defeat in the Eastern Provincial Council

May 19 (LeN) After the defeat of the Eastern Provincial Council, a group of UNP stalwarts charge that the UNP leader who seems prefer to enjoy the privileges of the Opposition Leader post than gaining power, is responsible for the defeat. They accuse that the leader is in the hands of a few false UNPers and offers even party funds for their businesses. They charge that the election campaign was not conducted at rural level in the Eastern Province. more..

Pillaiyan, Prabhakaran and Angulimala A Vesak thought

May 19 (LNP) What unfolded at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday had the trappings of a story in the Buddhist literature. Pillaiyan, a former terrorist who had been instrumental in unleashing violence against people, transmogrified into a democratically elected chief minister tasked with looking after the interests of the very populace he had once helped his erstwhile boss keep under the gun. more..

Army turns heat on Vanni Tigers as Palampiddy falls

May 19 (LNP) Close on the heels of the fall of Adampan on the Mannar front, Tigers over the weekend abandoned Palampiddy as the army strengthened its position in the western part of the Vanni region. Situated eight kms north of Madhu, Palampiddy junction connects Vidattaltivu, a key Sea Tiger base in the northwest, Mullikulam in southeast and Nedunkandal in the southeast. The military said the 57 Division took six days to complete the assault on Palampiddy by Saturday afternoon. more..

Buddhism and the Self

May 19 (LG) Among the most poorly understood of the Buddhist teachings is the anatta doctrine, often translated, perhaps misguidedly, as ‘no-self’. There are several reasons why this doctrine causes so much difficulty. Firstly, discourses in the Pali Canon, the earliest records of the Buddha’s teachings, show the Buddha to have been vague about what this doctrine actually asserts, and so there is much uncertainty about how it should be interpreted. more..

Nepal: Sri Lankan Embassy to observe Buddha’s birthday

May 19 (TGW) The month of May each year is very special to the Buddhists all over the world, including Nepal-the birth place of Siddhartha Gautam. The day of the Full Moon in this month signifies the birth of Prince Siddhartha in Lumbini, Nepal, attaining enlightenment as Gautam Buddha (in Bodh Gaya, India) and the “mahaparinirvana” of the Lord Buddha in Kushinagar, India. more..

Sri Lanka signed contract to construct Colombo-Katunayake expressway

May 19 (LNP) The Sri Lankan government last week signed an agreement with China Metallurgical Construction Group to construct the Colombo-Katunayake expressway funded by China. The Chinese government owned company will be engaged in funding, planning, designing and constructing the 25.6 km long expressway at a cost of US$ 310 million. In terms of the agreement, construction is to begin within 60 days and the project completed by 2012. more..

Mahindians embark on maiden overseas cricket tour

May 19 (LNP) Mahinda College, Galle, cricketers will today embark on their first overseas tour. Twenty five players, comprising the under seventeen team which won the All-Island championship in that age group and the first XI team which won the school s big match this year against Richmond College, after a lapse of thirty years, will tour South India where they will visit Mysore and Bangalore. Each team will play two matches each in Mysore and one each in Bangalore. more..

IT spreading to villages rapidly: MR

May 19 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted that every Sri Lankan would be linked to the universe by the provision of knowledge of Information Technology (IT) to all. He made this assertion when he presided at a ceremony to mark the 'International Telecommunications Day' at Temple Trees on Saturday. He pointed out that the 'Computer Literacy' rate which was around 5 per cent when his Government came into office in 2004, has increased to 20 percent now, more..

Lone woman battles tobacco company

May 19 (SAMN) P. Lalitha Padmini Fernando of 116/4, Seragama, began her legal battle five years ago claiming Rs.5,000,000 from Ceylon Tobacco for the loss of her husband’s life. She is still continuing her battle although she filed her plaint at the District Court of Colombo on April 11, 2003. According to her plaint, her husband K. Sisil Perera, who was a tailor by profession suffered from cancer and met his death. more..

Army extends amnesty period by two weeks

May 19 (SAMN) The army has extended an amnesty for its deserters which were scheduled to end last Friday (16) by two more weeks, as nearly 4000 deserters had reported back during the first two weeks, the military said. “Some 3709 army deserters had reported back for duty since May 2 under the amnesty period which ended May 16 but was later extended,” Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said adding “it is a good response.” more..

Protests an excuse for UNP defeat: Azwer

May 19 (SAMN) Former Minister and Presidential Advisor A. H. M. Azwer alleged that Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was reverting to his 'Lame Duck' game of staging protests in Colombo. Azwer said after losing an election for the 18th time in succession, he was using his usual 'Lame Duck' policies to tarnish the good name of the UPFA Government. "If as he claims, that the Ampara and Batticaloa elections were rigged, then who rigged the Trincomalee polls? more..

Buddhism fastest-growing religion in Singapore

May 19 (DPA) Buddhism is the fastest-growing religion in Singapore, particularly among the young and educated, a census conducted by The Straits Times showed Monday. The number of people aged 15 and over who are Buddhists jumped from 31 percent of the population in 1990 to 43 percent, or 1.1 million people, 10 years later, making it the largest religion in the city-state. more..

Hizbullah changes his mind again!

May 19 (MG) In a saga of unexpected twists and turns, UPFA Eastern Provincial Councillor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah who earlier threatened rebellion yesterday agreed to accept the portfolio of Provincial Health Minister and remain with the UPFA, informed sources said. He is likely to take his oaths on Wednesday. A highly placed government minister said that after discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Hizbullah had agreed to accept the portfolio and more..

A.K. Premadasa, PC, dies

May 19 (DN) The death occurred yesterday of President's Counsel A.K. Premadasa (85), who served as Chairman of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) for two terms. His first stint as ANCL Chairman was from 1973 to 1977, following the takeover of ANCL by the United Front Government. He was appointed Chairman again for a brief period in 1995. He was also the Press Council Chairman in 1973. more..

Lankans may get visa on arrival in India

May 19 (DN) The Indian Government is considering visa-on-arrival facility to citizens of Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Maldives and the Philippines. The facility would be offered on a reciprocal basis, ensuring that Indian citizens also get a similar benefit in these countries. At a recent meeting between intelligence agencies, and the tourism home ministries, details have been worked out to allow visa-on-arrival at major international airports. more..

CD pirates admit to pirating Khemadasa CD

May 19 (DM) Two Pettah cassette sellers yesterday admitted having duplicated a CD containing music of veteran musician Dr. Premasiri Khemadasa, before Colombo Additional Magistrate Ms. Sujatha Alahapperuma. The suspects, Vijitha Chandrasiri Paranawithana and Kamal Piyasiri Paranawithana, both of Nawala, were produced before the magistrate by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), alleging that they, more..

JVP member to be independent in East

May 19 (DM) The only JVP member elected to the Eastern Provincial Council, Wimal Piyatissa said he would fight against communalism within the council without supporting anyone. Mr. Piyatissa told Daily Mirror he and the party would always take the side of the people and fight against communalism. He said this decision had been taken as the administration of the council had gone to a communal minded group and it was necessary to save the people from its clutches. more..

Rajitha rejects fresh Norwegian role

May 19 (Island) Amidst claims President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is seeking a fresh Norwegian role in Sri Lanka, Minister Rajitha Senaratne has told former Norwegian peace envoy to Sri Lanka Eric Solheim that Sri Lankan State wouldn’t trust Norwegian facilitation in the peace process. The Patriotic National Front (PNM) last week regretted the government decision to send Senaratne to Oslo as it would have a detrimental impact on the efforts to defeat the LTTE militarily. more..

Blast revealed infiltration of TMVP by Vanni Tigers - official

May 19 (Island) Speculation is that a person now in custody in connection with Friday’s suicide attack in Colombo had been an LTTE infiltrator tasked with targeting TMVP leaders, particularly Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council. Well informed sources based in Trincomalee said the suspect identified as Jana had joined the breakaway LTTE faction shortly before the recently concluded election to the Eastern Provincial Council. more..

Obituary: AT Moorthy

May 19 (GU) In 1981 Arambamoorthy Thedchana "AT" Moorthy, who has died aged 79, became high commissioner for Sri Lanka to the Court of St James, a post normally reserved for senior politicians. That same year, Sinhalese thugs burnt down the Jaffna municipal library, one of the largest in Asia, with the apparent connivance of the police, destroying more than 97,000 Tamil volumes. Moorthy, who came from a Tamil background, believed in a common Sri Lankan identity and more..

Sri Lanka promoting ayurveda to boost tourism

May 19 (IANS) Sri Lanka is trying to promote ayurveda in the hope that the soothing herbal therapies will attract travellers looking for relaxation and rejuvenation and boost its tourism industry, which has been affected by the ongoing civil war. Tourism is one of the main income generating industries in Sri Lanka. Major tourist attractions are focused around the island's famous beaches, ancient cities, heritage sites, and the lush green tea estates in the central hills. more..

Lanka lauds Pak help in fight against terrorism

May 19 (PTI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wicramanayake has lauded Pakistan for its support to the fight against terrorism in the island nation which is dealing with the "brutal" LTTE outfit. "We are grateful to Pakistan who have helped us in our times of need and we haven't forgotten it," Wicramanayake said at a function organised by the Pakistan High Commission here recently. more..

Military says 78 killed in Sri Lanka clashes

May 19 (AP) A day of fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north has left 61 Tamil Tiger rebels and 17 soldiers dead, the military said Monday. Government soldiers and the rebels fought several battles in northern Mannar district Sunday, killing 40 rebels and 10 soldiers while three other soldiers are reported missing. Twenty-one other rebels and seven soldiers were also killed Sunday in scattered fighting, mortar fire and mine blasts across Jaffna, Vavuniya and Welioya regions, more..

Resettled IDPs rebuilding livelihoods

May 19 (IRIN) Tharmalingam Sudarshan, a farmer, returned to his home in Vavunathivu town, Batticaloa District, in eastern Sri Lanka in July 2007, having fled the area for three months due to conflict between the LTTE and government forces. He found his house destroyed by elephants, his belongings looted and his farmland fallow. A UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project helped him test the soil to choose the best crops and provided him with seeds and fertiliser. more..

Sri Lanka ready to face UN vote

May 20 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government is ready to face a key vote at the UN Human Rights sessions this week, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. The re-election vote to retain Sri Lanka's seat in the 47-member UNHRC is to be held on Wednesday in Geneva. Bogollagama told reporters that during his visits to many foreign capitals recently he had done the necessary lobbying in order that Sri Lanka makes a successful bid in its attempt to regain the UNHRC seat. more..

Hisbullah group 'assaulted' journalist

May 20 (BBC) Media watchdogs in Sri Lanka say a freelance journalist was assaulted by supporters of a provincial councillor in the east. The Free Media Movement (FMM) says journalist JL Jawfarkahn was assaulted in Batticaloa by supporters of MLAM Hisbullah. The journalist has visited Mr. Hisbullah’s office in Batticaloa to get an interview, the FMM said. Mr. Hisbullah told BBC Sandeshaya on Sunday that he would consult his electorate on future course of action after he was denied the Chief Minister (CM) post by the ruling coalition. more..

New candidate for east CM

May 20 (BBC) Another candidate in the eastern Provincial Council elections has claimed the post of Chief Minister (CM). Former Government Agent (GA) in Batticaloa, R Monagurusamy, told BBC Sandeshaya that he refused a request by the ruling coalition to join the PC as a councillor. The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) led by CM Sivanesathurai Chandrakanth (known as Pillayan) has requested him to accept the post. more..

Sri Lanka plans to send medical team to China

May 20 (Xinhua) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Monday that his country is planning to send a team of medical doctors and nurses to attend to those injured in the devastating 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck China a week earlier. Bogollagama visited the Chinese Embassy in Colombo Monday afternoon and signed the Condolence Book to express the Sri Lankan government's condolences for the earthquake victims in China. more..

The life of the Buddha, the great teacher of all being

May 20 (LR) The Buddha was born as a human being and became the enlightened one with his own effort and long struggle. It was simply the compassion towards all being that led the Buddha to preach his finding (dhamma). Thus he became the teacher of not only human being but for all other super human beings including gods of higher realms. His doctrine consist of anithya (impermanence), Dukkha (non satisfactoriness, suffering) and Anathma (no self, soul or control) nature of every being fully disclosed the reality of life. more..