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How is the essence of Buddhism connected to human ethics and good behavior?

May 17 (TC) The Government of Lanka says that on Wesak day this year, 2600 years after Buddha will be completed. Of course there are those who dispute the calculations of advisers to the government. In any case it must be approximately true; and after so many years it is worth making an investigation into the fundamental teachings of Buddha. Buddha was probably the first human teacher to reject the idea of God or the Creator. Also, he rejected metaphysics and more..

Only the middle path will bring lasting peace, justice

May 17 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiyah: Ayubowan, Vannakam Assalmu Alaikum and wishes for all the blessings from the thrice blessed day of Vesak with additional blessings and significance this year because it is the 2600th anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Indeed the country needs showers of blessings because the UPFA government is facing its worst ever international crisis over the United Nations panel report regarding alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity more..

Ben Kingsley in Colombo

May 17 (NN) Oscar winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley was seen in Colombo recently shooting scenes for his latest Hollywood movie. According to Odel CEO, Otara Gunewardene, the actor was shooting a scene at the department store which was used as a location for the upcoming film. Sir Ben Kingsley, whose real name is Krishna Pandit Bhanj, is best known for his controversial portrayal of Mohandas Gandhi in the 1982 film Gandhi, for which he won an academy award for best actor. more..

A return to the Buddha Vacana is called for in this 2600th SambuddHatva Jayanthi

May 17 (DM) A friend of mine, a Christian, asked me a couple of years ago what ‘Sri Lankan culture’ was. ‘Culture’, like ‘love’ is not easily defined. They can only be recognized by those who live it or experience it. My response was something like the following: ‘There is, naturally, diversity embedded in the overall ‘Sri Lankan’ when it comes to culture, but to the extent that anything can be claimed to be the core of our overall culture, or has contributed overwhelmingly more..

President’s Vesak Day Message

May 17 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark the Vesak festival said Buddhists should take refuge in the teachings of the Buddha, and through the proper observation of the teachings of Buddhism make this 2600 Sammasambuddhatva Jayanthi meaningful. He said: It is with immense fervor and devotion that we celebrate, with full State patronage, the thrice blessed festival of Vesak this year, which also marks the 2600 Sammasambuddhatva Jayanthi. more..

Go beyond 13th Amendment: EPDP

May 17 (DM) The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), an ally of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has renewed its call for the abolition of the concurrent list in the 13th Amendment and for the establishment of a senate or second chamber as part of a solution to the national question. Minister and EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda said he submitted his proposals to the government at a recent meeting. more..

Why Buddhism is a religion

May 17 (Island) A word of explanation is, perhaps, necessary as to the sense in which Buddhism is a religion. Otherwise, the statements of Buddhism are likely to be misunderstood as those of a theological tradition or a revelation of a divinely inspired prophet or teacher mediating between God and man. The sense of the English word ‘religion’ is so bound up with faith, worship and humility before a Personal God regarded as the author of our being, more..

Buddha’s message to humanity

May 17 (Island) In our Sansaric journey, which runs for many aeons or kalpas, we are absolutely fortunate that we, presently, live in an era, or celebrating the 2600th year of Sambuddha Jayanti. There may be millions and millions of creatives, who are not fortunate enough to wishes this landmark, in the history of Buddhism. The 2600th Vesak Purapasalosvaka Poya Day which falls of Tuesday, 17 May 2011, is a very important day for about 600 million Buddhists all over the World, more..

Over hundred thousand IDPs waiting to return

May 17 (BBC) After two years since the Sri Lankan government has declared its military victory over the Tamil Tigers, over one hundred thousand displaced had not returned home says a new UN report. "Between 1 April and 13 May 2011, 1,139 persons (366 families) departed the Menik Farm and Kodikamam Ramavil camps for their areas of origin in Mullaitivu (Maritimepattu and Odusuddan) and Kilinochchi (Pachchilaipallai and Karachchi) Districts, more..

History of the Sacred Hair Relic of The Buddha

May 17 (DM) During a period when a Buddha was serving in the world followers can venerate him, but in his absence (not near) they get the opportunity of honuring him only by showing respect to The Buddha's sacred hair given to them on earlier occasions. After Prince Siddartha (Bodhisathwa) renounced, he crossed the river Anoma. He cut his hair with his royal sword and threw them in the sky. Then sakra (The Chief of Gods) decended from heaven and received the more..

How to understand the supreme Buddha

May 17 (LB) We use various names for the Buddha. Generally the Buddha is looked up to as a saviour. To understand the Buddha one must have an open mind. He was not born as the Buddha. In Pali, Buddha means an Awakened One or an Enlightened One. He always took the middle path. The Bodhisattva was deep in meditation through his own efforts and in his own wisdom - not aided or guided by any supernatural power. Eradicating everything that defiles he purified himself, and took to more..

Some thoughts on the Buddha and his teaching

May 17 (Island) As we all know, the Buddha was the founder of the religion that has come to be known today as Buddhism. The word Buddha is a title, and not a personal name. The personal name of the Buddha is Siddhartha Gotama. But what exactly is the meaning of the title Buddha? Both in Pali and Sanskrit the term Buddha means "one who is awakened." We should understand the term "awakened", not in a literal sense, but in an idiomatic sense. more..

Special Vesak tours for foreign visitors

May 17 (DN) Special arrangements have been made by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) to mark 2600th anniversary celebrations of Sambuddhatva Jayanthi. During the whole Vesak festival season Sri Lanka Tourism is planning to attract as many tourists as possible to view the Vesak zones, pandals and other colourful illuminations around Colombo city and islandwide. Six special tours have been organized throughout the week for more..

Message of the prelate of The Asgiriya Sect

May 17 (DM) Prince Siddhartha who renounced on a Esala Full Moon Day crossed the River "Anoma", cut his hair and threw in the sky. At that moment gods emerged and received Buddha's hair, took away to heaven with a view to honour them according to Buddhist Literature. The Buddha donated a flock of hair to two Merchant Friends as a memory at the end of Seven Weeks (Sath Sathiya) following Buddhahood. The Bodhisathawa was able to attain Buddhahood due to the determined more..

Only 850 prisoners freed today

May 17 (DM) Though it was initially reported that 2600 prisoners would be released to mark the 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi, only around 850 prisoners will be released today after religious observances. Though the Prisons Reforms Ministry initially asked for permission to release 2600 prisoners, the prison authorities have approved only 850. Ministry Secretary A. Dissanayake said some prisoners were released in view of the Independence Day, and more..

Protesters fight to save university

May 17 (UCAN) Priests joined a protest in Colombo against turning Uva Wellassa University into a military academy. The Ministry of Higher Education ministry announced it would take over Uva Wellassa, one of the 15 national universities in Sri Lanka, sparking anger among parents, teachers, students and religious leaders. About 200 people from across the country rallied in a silent protest in front of the ministry today. The crowd chanted: “Minister! We came to take back our university” more..

All set for third Buddhist Film Festival

May 17 (DN) With the aim of building a World Buddhist Cinema the third Buddhist Film Festival will be held at the BMICH on May 18,19,20,21 and 22 on a grand scale. To mark the 2600th Sambuddhatva Jayanthi this 3rd film festival is to be held with the filming of cinematic creations of other Buddhist countries. The coordinator Sanka Mewan Herath said that, around 350 Buddhist films of short duration have been presented for the forthcoming Vesak Film Festival. more..

Sri Lanka open with four-wicket win

May 17 (CI) Sri Lanka made slightly hard work of chasing 213 at Uxbridge but opened their tour with a four-wicket victory as they reached the target with five overs to spare having bowled Middlesex out for 161. After a tough day in the field to begin with, Sri Lanka have made decent use of this outing ahead of a sterner test against the England Lions at Derby. In the chase they altered the batting order to give others a chase and most of them chipped in. more..

England 'best in world' - Sri Lanka coach

May 17 (CI) Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's interim coach, has labelled England the "best Test team in the world" but promised his side won't take a backward step during the upcoming series. Law took charge following the World Cup final which marked the end of Trevor Bayliss' tenure and he is also working alongside a new captain with Tillakaratne Dilshan having replaced Kumar Sanagkkara. The visitors began their tour with a four-wicket victory against Middlesex, more..

Sambuddhatva Jayanthi: Great event to enhance national solidarity

May 17 (NS) Whatever the extent of political turmoil created by the Darusman Report, the whole country is now getting ready to commemorate the great event of the 2600 Sambuddhatva Jayanthi. Various events and programmes have been planned by the Maha Sangha, the government and the general public to mark the event appropriately. As Buddhists play the lead role in these programmes, the leaders of the other three main religions in the country have more..

Failed state ventures to be leased out

May 17 (DM) The government has decided to lease out the Ceramics Corporation, the Rubber Manufacturing and Export Corporation (RMEC) and two sugar factories at Kantale and Embilipitiya to the private sector, a State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry (SREDM) said. The four failed state ventures with assets valued at more than Rs.10 billion had been earmarked for restructuring under a 30-year lease with a Compulsory more..

Remaining LG polls on 2010 register

May 17 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday the elections to the remaining local councils would be conducted on the basis of the 2010 electoral register, which will be certified on May 31. He said there was no misunderstanding over this issue and any practical problems that might crop up could be sorted out without much trouble. “We will certify the register on May 31. Then, we need time to obtain additional copies of the register. It is not a serious problem,” more..

Sri Lanka praises programs for OFWs

May 17 (MT) The Sri Lankan government is taking down notes on the Philippines’ programs and services for its migrant workers’ sector, a member of its parliament said. “We have a lot to learn from the Philippines [on how you treat your migrant workers],” Prof. Rajiya Wijesinha,the chairman of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats and a member of the Sri Lankan parliament, said during a press conference at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City (Metro Manila) on Sunday. more..

Sambuddhatva Jayanthi: Nation enveloped in spiritual fervour

May 17 (DN) The entire nation is preparing to celebrate the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi beginning today, Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. Religious activities including meditation programmes will take pride of place in the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi celebrations to be held at all temples and Buddhist monasteries islandwide. President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday declared the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Year beginning from the Vesak Full Moon day at more..

Sangakkara to deliver Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's

May 18 (PTI) Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara will deliver the 11th MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord`s on July 4. The former Sri Lanka captain will be the first person from his country to give the annual lecture and the first current international player to make the address. The 33-year-old will also take over from former Australia wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist as the youngest man to deliver the MCC SoC Cowdrey Lecture. more..

Lanka has a low gravitational force

May 18 (DM) Sri Lanka’s gravitational is one of the lowest in the world, according to a recent survey conducted by scientists and cartographers. It had also been found that the Southern Province and its coastal belt recorded a lower gravitational force than other parts of the country. “Our team comprised geologists from several countries. Though the possible causes for a lower gravitational force in Sri Lanka, were discussed we did not reach a conclusion. more..

Post-war destabilization campaign: Norway shows its hand again

May 18 (Island) The Norwegian government is stepping up pressure on Sri Lanka over war crimes allegations, with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) throwing its weight behind a call by Norway-based National Council for Eelam Tamils to initiate international criminal proceedings against Sri Lankan political and military leaders. Well informed sources told The Island that the Norwegian eelamists had been in touch with more..

'Release Fonseka; Only he can counter Darusman Report'

May 18 (Island) Retired General Sarath Fonseka should be released immediately, because he is the only person who could help the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime reply the war crimes allegations levelled against it by the UNSG commissioned Darusman Report, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the government, by replying to 31 questions posed by the UNSG’s Experts Panel, even before the Report was released, has already incriminated itself. more..

Won't allow anti-India activity by China: Sri Lanka

May 18 (IANS) Conscious of India's concerns over China's forays into the Indian Ocean region, Sri Lanka Tuesday assured New Delhi that it would not allow any country to use its soil to launch hostile action against any other country. Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, who concluded his three-day visit to India Tuesday, told reporters here that there was no scope for any confrontation between its close friends on its soil and more..

Sri Lanka intercepts Tamil Tiger propaganda

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday detained a Canada-bound container with a cargo of propaganda material for the island's Tamil Tiger rebels, a police official said. Police were asked to investigate the consignment of promotional material for the LTTE, on its way to Canada from the south Indian port of Chennai via Sri Lankan capital Colombo. "There were 45 cartons of LTTE books to an address in Canada," more..

Another Arrest in Sri Lankan Cricket Team Attack Case

May 18 (PTI) Another terror suspect has been arrested by Pakistani authorities for his involvement in the daring attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 that deprived Pakistan the right to host international ties. The man named Adnan Khosa was arrested in the Dera Ghazi Khan city of Punjab province for his suspected involvement in the 2009 attack that killed seven persons and injured several others, including players. more..

Pillayan’s house searched

May 18 (NN) The TMVP is to hold an urgent meeting tomorrow after the house of Eastern Province Chief Minister and TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan was subjected to a sudden police search this evening. A TMVP official said that plain clothed officers entered the residence of the Chief Minister and searched his house before leaving. The official did not say if the officers had recovered anything. more..

Wounds of War Healing Slowly

May 18 (IPS) Suresh Sundaram and Wilfred Wickremasinghe live 350 kilometres apart, and have never met each other. But their lives ran parallel for over a quarter of a century, as war ravaged their tear-shaped country Sri Lanka and changed their destinies forever. That war ended two years ago this week, and though much has changed in Sri Lanka, they both know that the deep scars created by the conflict have yet to heal. more..

Teachers object to leadership training for university students

May 18 (DM) Education sector officials expressed their objection to the Higher Education Ministry’s decision of making leadership training in military camps compulsory for new University entrants, pointing out that a large number of students have lost their enthusiasm to enter national Universities as a result of the decision. “The Higher Education Ministry has issued letters to all the students expecting more..

Dutch Tamils arrested for illegal Tigers fundraising

May 18 (RNW) Tamils in the Netherlands have been forced to donate money to the LTTE, the Tamil separatist army, to pay for its war against Sri Lanka’s government army. Dutch court authorities say the Tigers held these people in ‘a stranglehold’, forcing them to pay a ‘war tax’. The investigation has been going on for two years. Several people have been arrested, including the alleged leader of the Dutch branch of the Tigers. more..

India calls on Sri Lanka to probe rights record

May 18 (AFP) India broke with past practice on Tuesday and called on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the island's civil war, upping pressure on President Mahinda Rajapakse. India has not joined recent demands from the United Nations and Western countries for a probe into alleged war crimes committed during the final stages of the conflict which ended in May 2009 more..

Another man is severely assaulted by the Inginiyagala Police

May 18 (LG) Mr. P W Cyril Sarath Kumara (26) of No: 6 B/59 A, Ambagahawella, Paragahakelle, Ampara, is a farmer by profession. On 4 April 2011 he was at Ambagahawela, Paragahakelle in the village along with a few other villagers. As it was the New Year celebration period several villagers were playing cards. At around 11pm several police officers including Police Constable (PC) Roshan, Police Sergeant (PS) more..

Before long most valuable land in the Country will be owned by foreigners

May 18 (TC) Though the government proclaims that under Mahinda Chinthanaya privatization of state assets has not taken place and that it is not the policy to privatize state assets, within the last year the disposition of land owned by the state to foreigners has taken place at an unprecedented scale. It is significant that what is disposed to foreigners are some of the most valuable land in the country. The sale of about 10 acres of the most valuable land more..

Making ‘kalakannis' out of ‘creme de la creme’

May 18 (LG) We need to point out that Mr. Dissanayaka’s kalakannis are not magically produced in four years at university. They are a culmination of years of hard work by many branches of society. Accepting sole credit for this dead weight would be irresponsible on our part. Many, many stakeholders have contributed to making these kalakannis. Stakeholders such as their families, school teachers, tuition masters, the University Grants Commission, more..

The mind and consciousness: Buddhist views vs Western science

May 18 (LG) Buddhism teaches the cleansing of one’s mind of its defilements arising from craving, anger and ignorance in order to see and comprehend things in their authentic form. The cleansing is done with systematic forms of meditation whereby engaging awareness as a vital force a strong foundation of concentration is built to progress into knowledge, wisdom and insight. With the cleansing of the mind, the kammic energy that flows for one runs its course to a finish. more..