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The role of Bhikkhus in Buddhism

July 27 (SO) In its broader sense, the Triple Gem means – the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, all closely related to one another. The Sangha is the last component of the Triple Gem. The Sangha as a part of the Triple Gem is treated with special reverence. In its wider sense the Sangha really means an assembly of learned Bhikkhus with common objectives or a group of Bhhikkhus committed to observe and follow more..

Silk sarees

July 27 (GV) As I recall “Black July” 1983 on 23rd July 2013, 30 years have quickly passed by, but my memories of “Black July” remain fresh and intact in my heart. On a Saturday morning, we heard the news about an ambush (13 army soldiers were killed) in Thirunelvely, Jaffna Peninsula on 23rd July 1983. As a family discussed the serious matter in detail. Following the official funeral of the 13 soldiers in Kanatte Cemetery in Colombo on 24th July 1983 (Sunday evening), we have received more..

First, the colours

July 27 (GV) First, the colours. My memories of July are full of dark colours, foreboding and angry. Grey dominates. Grey, the colour of the smoke that is everywhere, even in your tears. Then there is red, bright and angry, the colour of blood, like a crimson spray on the grey smoke. Lastly there is the orange of the flames, fiery and frantic, lapping up the blood and the groans of collapsing masonry, before disappearing into the smoke. Dark and sharp colours that daub the memories of the horror. more..

A day in the life of a juice vendor

July 27 (CT) When the sun is over your head, all you need is a drink to cool you down. We met a roadside fruit juice vendor who does not need a juicer to squeeze the lemon. This, he does pretty fast. On the road side of Pettah, Mohamed Raafik, a 38-year-old father of two, makes fresh and delicious juices to quench your thirst. It is quite a sight to look at him squeezing the lemon and breaking the ice. His day is as busy as ours but far more more..

Ranil, go home, enough is enough

July 27 (CT) The scourge of Ranil Wickremesinghe has fallen on the UNP, the 'Grand Old Party' of Sri Lanka. The party that once was the strength of the common masses, the party towards which scores of MPs of the opposition ranks flocked, the party that could boast about many a national achievement, from the Mahaweli Programme to Mahapola, massive housing schemes, land grants and of course, free education and the open-market economy, has ended up as the laughing more..

Half century of conning idiots

July 27 (SL) For the past 55 years we have been following the efforts of our national leaders to find a solution to the ‘problem’. The ‘problem’ underwent many changes in nomenclature from: Communal problem, Tamil problem, Federal problem, Separatist problem, Terrorist Problem, Ethnic problem, National Reconciliation problem. Even as a schoolboy we followed the innumerable ‘solutions’ declared and now as a septuagenarian we are still – along with the nation – in search of this more..

Rewarding misbehaviour?

July 27 (CT) Teachers as well as the public are criticizing the SLFP for inviting former NWPC member, Ananda Sarath Kumara, to appear before the SLFP nomination board to consider his candidacy for the upcoming PC elections. Just over a month ago, there was an uproar over the boorish conduct of the Councillor who is alleged to have forced a female teacher to kneel before him – for disciplining his daughter more..

Sri Lanka’s Black July: Borella, 24th Evening

July 27 (CT) Most people hate to see themselves as murderers. This influences the manner in which they perceive public and private tragedies, and memory often rejects the unpleasant and sanitises the true nature of the event. So it happened with Tamils in the way they sanitised and rationalised instances of Tamil violence against Sinhalese and Muslims. Several of these have been described in our reports over the years. The Sri Lankan State with its ideology is an institution, which more..

Mahinda’s good cop, bad cop and code of ethics for media – Aesop’s Fables ?

July 27 (CT) The govet of President Rajapaksa will continue to seek total control over all public opinion and opinion makers including absolute control over the entire spectrum of the local media, be it print, electronic or social. The oldest trick in the book of playing “good cop, bad cop” between him and his brother, the Secretary of Defence, yet hold currency. It is to be admitted the Secretary of Defence, has support from a section of the public for his role in the war and has added a few more through more..

Debra Efroymson

Trust polticos and run starkers

July 27 (Island) MP Dayasiri Jayasekera’s resignation from his parliamentary seat to crossover to the govt has caused problems not only for the UNP but also others who believed in his promise that he would never let his party down. A trishaw driver from Deraniyagala, who made a bet with a friend last week that Dayasiri would not defect and offered to walk across the township in his underwear in case of being proved wrong was prevented by the police from honouring his promise on more..

Perera punishes Peterson

July 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's innings had progressed at a crawl from the outset, until Thisara Perera got hold of Robin Peterson and sent his figures flying into the night in a 35-run mauling. Perera began by slogging Peterson over cow corner, his bottom hand coming off in the exertion. The second legitimate ball was bludgeoned slightly squarer, but just as far, before Perera went over cow corner again for the next two deliveries, getting the second of those blows into the midst of a jubilant crowd. more..

Wigneswaran, Senathirajah and the Facade of TNA Unity

July 27 (DBS) CV Wigneswaran was named by the TNA on the Ides of July as its chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election. The decision made by the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils was welcomed widely by many shades of political opinion as a wise choice that would benefit the community in particular and the country in general. CV Wigneswaran as he is generally more..

Dayasiri causes confusion in the NWP while Wigneswaren prepares to lead NP

July 27 (Island) Last week, Rajavarothiam Sambanthan, the leader of the TNA pulled a political rabbit out of a proverbial hat, when long running rumors were confirmed that eminent jurist and articulate good governance advocate, retired SC Justice C.V. Wigneswaren was to be the TNA’s nominee for Chief Minister of the Northern Province. That announcement essentially confirmed that Justice Wigneswaren would be the first Chief Minister of the post war Northern Province. more..

Aitken Spence launches ‘Empowering Sri Lanka First’

July 27 (Island) Aitken Spence has launched Empowering Sri Lanka First, an English and IT teaching programme for children from its neighbouring communities as its flagship corporate community engagement initiative. The leading diversified conglomerate commenced the pilot phase of the English programme benefiting 180 students in Dambulla, Ahungalla and Mawaramandiya in May. The eight-year old students follow a globally recognised British Council syllabus more..

'Sri Lanka could reduce emissions by 20% by 2020'

July 27 (DM) New green power initiatives could reduce Sri Lanka’s greenhouse gas emissions by almost 20 percent by 2020, Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Minister stated, referring to the ADB's latest assessment on carbon footprint. “This is no less than a strong reduction potential of 5.6 million tonnes of carbon,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. He made these comments addressing the occasion to mark more..

Sajith says Dayasiri acted hastily

July 27 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said that Dayasiri Jayasekara, who switched allegiance to President Rajapaksa recently, had acted too hastily. "In politics, one needs to go through the mill and the classic examples are my father, the late R Premadasa and incumbent President Rajapaksa," MP Premadasa said. He said that one needed to be a ‘shock absorber’ of sorts with a lot of patience. He had withstood the same political shocks as Dayasiri, Premadasa said, noting that haste did not more..

41,992 students let down

July 27 (CT) The Ministry of Education has failed to admit 41,992 students, who passed the Grade V Scholarship exam over the past three years, into popular schools, the Auditor General has revealed. The students who have been deprived of the opportunity to enter so-called popular schools make up 40% of the overall number of students who got through their scholarship exams. This figure was disclosed by the Auditor General who conducted an audit investigation into the students who more..

Toxic substance in milk powder

July 27 (CT) Four imported powdered milk brands are found to contain Dicyandiamide (DCD), which is deemed toxic to the human body, a research conducted by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) has revealed. "This is the position of the Ministry of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy and the research team of the ITI. We have made it quite clear what it is. It is now up to the Ministries of Health and Agriculture to take an more..

Ranil attempts to woo estranged MPs

July 27 (CT) Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, tried in vain last week, to mend fences with suspended Kurunegala District UNP MP, Ashoka Abeysinghe, and Puttalam District MP, Range Bandara, UNP inside sources said. The modus operandi of the UNP Leader had been to reinstate the party membership of the two MPs after extracting an apology from them. The two MPs were invited to Sirikotha on 23 July for a meeting with the UNP Leader, by MP Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Nations Trust Bank gets US$15mn in ADB funds

July 27 (LBO) Nations Trust Bank has signed up a 15 million dollar credit to lend to small and medium enterprises, especially those in former war zones and tsunami hit areas, the Asian Development Bank said. "As the economy continues its robust growth, SME demand for finance has steadily increased," Monisha Hermans, Investment Specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department said. "However, SMEs are experiencing difficulties accessing funding, particularly longer-term. more..

Basil apologises to British MP delegation for Khuram Shaikh’s murder

July 27 (FT) A British Parliamentary Delegation concluded its visit to the country on a buoyant note, saying Sri Lanka was making steady progress in its post-conflict after officials here vowed to bring killers of murdered UK citizen Khuram Shaikh to justice. The All-Party delegation was led by British Member of Parliament, Eleanor Laing who noted that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka while important could not be more..

Sajith, Karu removed from list of speakers

July 27 (CT) Opposition and United National Party (UNP) Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has removed UNP Members of Parliament, Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya off the list of speakers, who are listed to address election meetings in the North-Western and Central Provinces. UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, revealed the UNP electoral organizers have been notified of this change and that there would be dire consequences, if instructions are not adhered to. more..

'Rains to ease, temperatures will rise'

July 27 (Island) Windy conditions, possible thunderstorms, variable cloudy skies and scattered showers had been the rule throughout the last few days, but they would gradually lower the chances of rain and increase temperatures through the weekend, Meteorology Department said yesterday. However, heavy rains lashed Colombo, from the early hours of yesterday, obstructing all day-to-day activities and affecting thousands of people in the city, especially during the morning rush hour. more..

Gota cancels meet with UK MPs

July 27 (CG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had today cancelled his scheduled meeting with a British All Party Parliament delegation. The meeting had been pre-arranged but was cancelled at the last minute. The British All Party Parliament delegation was in Sri Lanka for a week and wrapped up their visit today with meetings in Colombo. The delegation, which had visited the north as well as the more..

Mother and son killed in accident

July 27 (CT) A mother and son died after the motorcycle on which they were riding collided with a tipper at Goma-handiya in the Laggala area around 6 a.m. yesterday. Police said a tense situation occurred in the area after the truck driver had escaped the scene. He also said, the area is famous for sand mining from the Mahaweli River, which accounts for the high number of tipper trucks in the area. The angered villagers had damaged several lorries in the vicinity. more..

Refugees stretched on token racks

July 27 (SMH) Kevin Rudd has not yet threatened that he will use hot pliers to tear out the fingernails from asylum seekers arriving in boats. Or that he will hand over their children to the fabled Papua New Guinean headhunters for cannibalism. But he probably will if he needs to. The more horrible and fearsome the punishment of being sent to PNG is made to sound, the more unlikely (or at least he hopes) it will be that asylum seekers will board the boats in the first place. more..

IUSF convener released on bail

July 27 (Island) IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara remanded for violating bail conditions in a previous case by leading a protest by undergraduates was yesterday released on bail by Gangodawila Magistrate. Bail was set at Rs. 50,000 personal and he was ordered to report to the Mirihana police on the last Sunday of each month. Earlier on Sept. 25, 2012, Bandara was granted bail on the condition that he would not organise more..

Garbage posing a big challenge

July 27 (Island) Solving the garbage problem remained a big challenge and as far as the local government authorities were concerned, Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry Secretary R. A. A. K. Ranawake said, noting a that lackadaisical attitude would only make the situation worse. "If the local communities do not find a solution for the country’s garbage issue, we will run out of land to dump the waste and will soon be walking on streets full of garbage." more..

Visa law breakers warned

July 27 (DN) Visitors to the country on tourist visas who engage in business activities in contravention of Immigration and Emigration laws will be rounded up and deported after being blacklisted, Controller of Immigration ad Emigration Chulananda Perera said. He said special units have been set up at Police Stations to arrest such wrong doers. Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said information has been received about a large number of people coming on tourist visas, more..

'Dayasiri may have defected under duress'

July 27 (Island) UNP MP Ajith Pathmakumara Perera yesterday alleged that his Kurunegala District colleague Dayasiri Jayasekera may have switched allegiance to the ruling coalition under duress. "We felt quite comfortable with Jayasekera’s multiple assurances that he wouldn’t quit the party though a section of the media speculated on his defection," Kalutara District MP Perera said in a brief interview with The Island yesterday. more..

Crossovers Galore - Deputy Speaker

July 27 (DN) Not only Dayasiri Jayasekara, but more MPs from the UNP will join the govt. This will leave the opposition in worse straits by the next election, said Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Imaduwa Gramiya Bank. He further said "even though the majority of people understand and appreciate the massive development process taking place in the country, a few are unable to grasp reality and understand the process. more..

Insurance and life jacket compulsory for Sri Lankan fishermen from next year

July 27 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that it will be mandatory for the sea going fishermen of the country to wear life jackets from January 01, 2014. In addition, the life insurance also will be made compulsory for them, the Minister says. The Minister explained in parliament yesterday that these measures are taken to guarantee the safety of the fishermen and their families. He made this clarification in response to a question raised by the UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana. more..

Wimal threatens to resign from PSC unless …

July 27 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has threatened to resign from the Parliamentary Select Committee on the national question if it does not proceed quickly to find solutions for several key issues, including police and land powers of the provincial councils. Weerawansa told a politburo meeting of the NFF last week that the PSC must give priority to discussing key issues such as preventing more..

China exposes shameful corruption by drug companies

July 27 (DM) Transnational medicinal drugs corporations, during the past few decades of the globalised capitalist market economic system, are known to have emerged as one of the world’s biggest businesses, making as much profit if not more than the arms and agro-chemical industries. The eminent and patient-friendly physician Professor Carlo Fonseka, now the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, often speaks at awareness seminars on the topic, more..

Active civil society, second chamber: Vital components in public interest

July 27 (DM) Democracy they say is the best form of govt. This then goes uncontested. Yet the rise in human fallibility of greed, selfishness, self, centeredness and what not, have undermined its workability making political authority even prefer the state of autocratic rule. As a result the much perfected democratic goals fall by the wayside. The election pledges given to the masses on good governance is shelved. “Democracy is veiled autocracy," said one of the world’s more..

Media in Sri Lanka not free

July 27 (CG) Media freedom remained restricted in Sri Lanka in 2012, with journalists subject to myriad forms of legal harassment and physical intimidation, Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world said in a report. The report said that although the govt included several items related to media freedom in its July 2012 National Action Plan on more..

Inconsistency haunts Tharanga...again

July 27 (CI) When Upul Tharanga made his debut for Sri Lanka in August 2005, his was one of the more remarkable tales in international cricket. Eight months earlier, his family lost their home in the tsunami, that claimed thousands of lives in his home town of Ambalangoda. Only 19 then, Tharanga had played a match in Colombo the day before, and was setting out for home when he had news of the disaster. more..

'North-East merger will never happen'

July 27 (CT) The govt is heading towards the upcoming Provincial Council elections with a few hurdles already in place. On the one hand, speculation that disgraced Provincial Councillor, Ananda Sarath Kumara, accused of forcing a teacher to kneel in front of her students for disciplining his daughter, is going to be nominated to contest under the UPFA ticket, has sparked outrage among locals. On the other hand, as the first NPC election more..

Three-wheelers: Indispensable death traps

July 27 (ST) Despite 800,000 three-wheelers or ‘tuk-tuks’ operating in the country, of which about 300,000 operate within the Colombo city, according to the Motor Traffic Department, the absence of a regulatory body has made this a transport service filled with unruly drivers and road hogs, experts warned. Three-wheeler accidents account for over 8% of fatal accidents in the country. Last year recorded about 200 fatal and about more..