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Understanding Bududahama

May 14 (Island) It is Vesak again. It is the day the ascetic Siddhartha (Siduhath Thavusa) attained Buddhahood or became Samma Sambuddha. I have found that understanding Bududahama is much more difficult than fathoming Relativity, Quantum Physics, western Mathematics or western Philosophy or any other system of knowledge that I have some acquaintance, and it is amazing that this Dhamma has survived for more than two thousand five hundred years not only as a Dahama but more..

WCY 2014: Is it really for the youth?

May 14 (NS) Following a grand opening ceremony at the Magam Ruhunupura International Convention Center in Hambantota, serious deliberations have kicked off for the World Conference on Youth in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The WCY2014 is meant to focus on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. There are over 1,500 delegates from all over the world representing different interests. Two days into the consultations, are youth voices really being heard? more..

WCY 2014: Confusion reigned supreme

May 14 (NS) Poor organization and appalling lack of coordination between various branches of the govt dampened what was otherwise a productive World Conference on Youth 2014. Conference ended with the Colombo Declaration on Youth. While the sessions at the conference were acknowledged by many delegates to be productive ones, the lack of coordination and practice of ‘passing the ball’ when things go wrong more..

Sri Lanka: Realizing peace, reconciliation and ending violence

May 14 (CT) Recovering from the scars of the past is an ongoing process for any nation that went through a protracted civil war; Sri Lanka is no exception to this. Ensuring sustainable peace calls for communal reconciliation; we have made progress in rebuilding relationships between individuals and within our communities. However, this is not sufficient. We now have an even greater challenge to overcome in the coming years: the need to work together as one nation. more..

Sri Lanka’s constitutional evolution towards law, chaos and disorder

May 14 (SL) Enjoying the refreshing monsoonal breezes gushing past our window, our minds flitted to the unique country we are blessed with. We were reflecting on a news report where President Rajapaksa had said that he was prepared to work with an Opposition within the govt (or something to that effect.) A ruling govt with an opposition not only opposing the govt but even voting against it in parliament? This is quite contrary to the elementary constitutional law of Jennings, Dicey, more..

The truth about justice in Sri Lanka

May 14 (TD) Five years ago – in May 2009 – Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war finally ended. Regrettably, there is ample evidence to suggest that violations of international humanitarian and human rights law were committed by both the Sri Lankan military and the separatist LTTE. In spite of significant international criticism, the Sri Lankan govt has refused to conduct a proper inquiry into what transpired at the end of the war and more..

Editorial: Vesak and inner peace

May 14 (Island) Vesak will be celebrated on a grand scale today with colourful pandals and danselas in all parts of the country apart from various religious programmes carried out with state patronage. The significance of this thrice blessed day is known to one and all; it is comprehensively dealt with year in year out by the laymen and the clergy alike. We don’t intend to write about it today. As for this national festival what has struck us most in recent years is the radical change more..

Sri Lanka first to adopt British Council’s ‘Aptis for Teachers’

May 14 (ST) The British Council has locally introduced a new English language assessment tool for companies and education institutions to evaluate the level of proficiency of employees, job seekers, students and even teachers. In addition, it also helps to identify areas requiring training for improvement. This tool, Aptis, developed and owned by the British Council, has been launched in Sri Lanka to “support the country’s aspirations to invest in human capital and to increase the overall levels of more..

GK depositors say Kotelawala must pull them out of the brink

May 14 (ST) Disgruntled Golden Key (GK) depositors urged President Rajapaksa to intervene in persuading former Ceylinco Chief Lalith Kotelawala, the main culprit in the drama, to make a full commitment towards repaying their hard earned money, 64 months after the company crashed. Around 600 depositors passed a resolution unanimously at a meeting at the Public Library auditorium demanding the authorities to more..

‘Long holidays do not necessarily diminish productivity’

May 14 (Island) ‘If you plan ahead and organize your operation schedules and work rosters properly, long holidays on the calendar will not diminish the productivity of your employees or affect your business, Laksala Consultant Indira Malwatte said. This topic of conversation was put to her as several long weekends occur in Sri Lanka in both May and June this year, and there has been some concern on their impact on productivity in both state and private sector business organizations. more..

CA Sri Lanka to host high-level accounting conference

May 14 (ST) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will host a high-level Conference on Financial Reporting for Economic Development this month, which will convene some 150 high-profile regulators, policy makers, business leaders, academics and professionals from across Asia, the institute said. The conference, to be held from May 19 to 21, is jointly organised by Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), International Federation of more..

Essex upset Sri Lankans on murky night

May 14 (CI) Sri Lanka were given a harsh introduction to the challenge of English conditions as they subsided to a 22-run loss on the D/L method on a damp night in Chelmsford. In dank conditions that could hardly have differed more from those found in the sub-continent, Sri Lanka were undone by a second-string attack that included three man making List A debuts for Essex and, unlikely though it sounds, a fine catch by Panesar. more..

Fond memoirs of a literatus

May 14 (CT) I was away when the news of Maureen Seneviratne reached me, and I could not attend the funeral. I am grateful then to Ceylon Today for having asked me to pen a tribute – especially because I had seen, while abroad (though I managed to pay my last respects the day before I left) the thoughtful comprehensive coverage that had been provided for Sita Kulatunge. I had thought I should not be sentimental and go through past papers until I was at least 60 years old, more..

Ceylon Tobacco Co waiting for copy of court order

May 14 (LBO) Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco said it was waiting for a copy of an order by Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal, after it challenged health ministry rules of graphic warning on cigarette packs. The firm said in a stock exchange filing that an order read out in open court had said the regulations should be changed to reduce the size of the graphic health warning. Media reports said labels covering 55 to 60% had been allowed by court. more..

Anti-LTTE operations create fears of a refugee influx into Tamil Nadu

May 14 (TOI) Ten Sri Lankan Tamil refugees arrived in Rameswaram last week just as the SL govt ramped up its cordon-and-search operations in Tamil areas and been detaining Tamil youths for questioning - all to quell what the govt has dubbed as efforts to re-establish the LTTE within the island nation. Political parties in TN that have been critical of the Indian govt's attitude toward SL govt have not reacted to the arrival of refugees. more..

Sampath Bank records net profit growth of 22.7% in 1st Q 2014

May 14 (Island) Sampath Bank proved ‘its resilience to the external factors’ by recording a strong quarterly growth in profitability with a profit before tax of Rs 1,668.3 Mn, an increase of 18.8% over the previous year’s first quarter pre-tax profit of Rs.1,404.3 Mn. The first quarter profit after tax stood at Rs. 1.2 Bn, which is an increase of 22.7% over the corresponding period in the previous year which amounted to Rs 978 Mn, a press release said. The release adds: more..

Vesak Celebrations in Jaffna: Yapa Patunai Daham Amavai

May 14 (AT) With the view of celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha a Vesak festival named "Yapa Patunai Daham Amavai" will commence from today onwards up to 20th May, opposite to public library premises in Jaffna. The grand Vesak festival is organized by the Security Forces in Jaffna. It includes Vesak lanterns, Danlalsa and a large number of attractive decorations. The decorative arrangements include a pandol of 60,000 electric lights more..

Sri Lanka ban splits overseas Tamil outfits

May 14 (NIE) The ban on 16 Tamil Diaspora organisations and 425 individuals deemed to be pro-Tamil Tiger, which was imposed by the Sri Lankan govt in March under UN Security Council Resolution 1373, has begun to split these organisations and scare away individuals from them, a source close to the Lankan security establishment told Express on Tuesday. “Colombo has been sending to various countries, dossiers on more..

Teaching of the Buddha is the greatest message of peace to the world - President

May 14 (GDI) President Rajapaksa in his Vesak Message said "We celebrate the triple festival of Vesak that commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of the Buddha with State sponsorship that marks the great veneration and devotion of the people. "Vesak is the most meritorious festival of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the world over. We, who have protected Theravada, the purest form of Buddhism with great sacrifice through the centuries, celebrate this festival more..

Wesak message of the JVP

May 14 (LT) Today is Wesak Poya Day, the day Buddhists all over the world accept as the day in which Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Nirvana took place. This day is commemorated, venerated and honoured by all Buddhists. Lord Buddha’s teachings that help the society to progress include cooperation, working for reconciliation and righteousness. Undoubtedly, most of the virtuous qualities that exist in the Sri Lankan society have been nurtured by His teachings. more..

Wimal under PIU surveillance

May 14 (CT) In a matter of days after Minister Wimal Weerawansa openly criticizing certain decisions and actions taken by the govt, the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) has conducted a lightning investigation into core institutions coming under his direct purview. Accordingly, the PIU has conducted a sudden inspection, along with a thorough investigation into the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA), an institution more..

Protesting Jayewardenepura undergrads make ten demands

May 14 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sri J'pura University who started a satyagraha opposite the University’s main gate last Thursday, against academic and welfare problems have placed ten immediate demands, and failure to grant them, they warned, would lead to further protests. President of the Students’ Council Sanath Bandara said that the university administration so far had suspended 166 undergraduates since January last year and expelled 45 students. more..

Will take measures over 'Sri Lanka Mirror' issue - Keheliya

May 14 (SM) The alleged access control imposed on 'Sri Lanka Miror' within Sri Lanka will be looked into and necessary measures taken, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, the minister has said that that he was unaware of such a block. When asked whether the block would be reversed, the minister said that measures will be taken after looking into the matter. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, editor of 'Sri Lanka Miror' - Kelum Shivantha said that more..

'Indian govt stand on Katchatheevu clear'

May 14 (Hindu) Director-General of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Vice-Admiral Anurag Thapliyal has refused to be drawn into the controversy over India’s stand on Katchatheevu and whether India should take back the islet for security reasons. “I will not comment upon it,” Vice Admiral said when asked whether India should stake claim to the islet on security point of view. “It is a diplomatic question and I have no answer to it. more..

Forensic Science Training Programme

May 14 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that forensic science acts as a catalyst in bringing together legal profession and scientific community to pursue the aim of "Better Science, Better Justice." It has designed a series of workshops specifically focused on building capacity of legal practitioners and other stakeholders with the aim of promoting civil society initiatives and building the capacity of lawyers, a press release issued by the BASL said. It said: more..

SB warns IUSF against disrupting Deyata Kirula

May 14 (CT) Ministry of Higher Education yesterday warned the IUSF that they would have to go into hiding, if they disrupt the next Deyata Kirula Exhibition. Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake, said during a media briefing that not only the IUSF, but their parents would also have to find places to hide in the event they attempt to disrupt or disallow the Deyata Kirula exhibition from being held at the University of Ruhuna premises. "This exhibition is conducted by the govt, more..

Indian fishermen seek govt help to phase out trawlers

May 14 (Hindu) In the wake of bilateral talks between fishermen of Sri Lanka and India in Colombo hitting a deadlock over the use of trawlers by Indian fishermen, fishermen here seek govt intervention for expediting the phasing-out of trawlers. While expressing disappointment over the “rigid” stance of the Sri Lankan counterparts who call for an immediate end to the use of trawlers, fisherfolk here believe it is in the hands of the more..

Govt confident of a change

May 14 (GDI) Govt expressed confidence in a change in the mindset of groups currently bent on dividing the country, five years after the war. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that a strategy has been put in place to have talks with those who have a negative image of Sri Lanka. Speaking at a press conference in Kandy today, the Minister recalled that during the final stages of the war Sri Lanka faced immense pressure from several countries who wanted to stop the war. more..

State Vesak Festival in Polonnaruwa

May 14 (GDI) The annual State Vesak Festival 2014 will be held centred around the Polonnaruwa district throughout the Vesak Week. The Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry have made arrangements to hold the festival on a grand scale highlighting Buddhist religious values under the patronage of the Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne who is also the Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Minister. During the Vesak Week from May 11 - 17, several events which showcase more..

Jaffna varsity teachers assert right to mourn

May 14 (Hindu) The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association has condemned the closure of the university between May 16 and 20, pointing to intimidation and repression of free discussion on campus. It said that some university professors and student leaders received death threats warning them against holding any commemoration for those who lost their lives during the war, alleging that they were trying to more..

Parents given time till 3 June to pick school

May 14 (CT) Supreme Court yesterday gave time till 3 June to the parents of the Muslim girl who filed a FR application seeking permission to wear Muslim clothes to school, to decide whether they would like to send their daughter to Muslim Ladies College instead of Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya. Matter was taken up before a Bench comprising Justices Priyasath Dep, Rohini Marasinghe and Buwaneka Aluvihare. Deputy Solicitor General Sanjaya Rajaratnam submitted to Court, more..

Teachers arrested for forcibly cutting student's hair

May 14 (CT) Two female teachers from the Wevinna Junior School, Wattegama were arrested by the police for forcibly cutting the hair of a Grade Six student against her wishes. The teachers were released on personal bail amounting to Rs 25,000 each, after they were produced before the Deldeniya Court. The teachers were arrested based on a complaint made by the parents of the student, the Police Media Unit said. Wattegama Police said the strands of hair that were found in the room more..

Sri Lanka to change GDP compilation method amid criticism

May 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will upgrade its gross domestic product (GDP) compilation method to reflect international standards from next year, after repeated criticism that authorities overestimated economic growth. New method will capture all of the new economic activities in the $67 billion economy, with a change in the base year, said D.C.A. Gunawardena, head of Dept of Census and Statistics. more..

Let us think ‘trees’ this Vesak

May 14 (DM) More than two thousand six hundred years ago on a Full Moon Day in the month of Vesak, Mahamaya, Queen of the Sakya King Suddodana, gave birth to a child, Siddhartha Gauthama. He was born under a Sal tree. Thirty six years later, this same Siddhartha attained enlightenment in the place now known as Buddha Gaya. It happened under a Bo tree. At the age of 80, the Buddha Siddhartha Gauthama passed on to parinirvana in a Sal grove in the city of more..


May 14 (DM) Before long, on a Wesak Full Moon Day he realised what he came for! Through his own efforts, discarding every erroneous teaching he learned, and sticking to The Middle Path, he was able to develop his mind to such an extent that he achieved – the vision, the knowledge, the wisdom, the science, and the light – those that he had never known, heard of or experienced, before. In other words He had attained Enlightenment. I am sure that some of us can recall instances at more..

Seeing The Buddha through Dhamma

May 14 (DM) Dhamma means understanding oneself. If you can understand yourself, it amounts to understanding the world. Therefore the main objective of understanding Dhamma is to understand oneself. We assume that what we think is reality. However the truth is different. We have various concepts about the world which we have learnt from our parents, teachers and others, books and culture. We are influenced by them. more..

Whither Colombo Taxpayer?

May 14 (SL) Questions have been raised as to what happens to the properties that are seized by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) over tax and rate defaults. Although many private properties of tax defaulters have been seized by the CMC over the years, it is still unknown as to what has happened to these properties worth billions of rupees. According to the Treasurer, CMC, K.D. Chithrapala, if the owners do not pay the more..

Conference looks at how Buddhism could enrich our legal system

May 14 (ST) Bhutan’s Chief Justice now in Colombo to attend a seminar on “Universaliing Buddhist Jurisprudence” said that the Buddha was a social reformer who saw the law as universal, irrespective of social status or economic conditions. He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day conference being held at the Kadirgamar Institute. Objective of the conference is to discover Buddhist principles relevant to principles of law. more..

Odds in favour, Indians chase fortune in ‘Serendib’

May 14 (Hindu) It is 1 a.m. But for those crowding around the tables at Marina, one of Colombo’s newest casinos, the night is young. After a lucrative round, a portly man holding a glass walks up to his friend and greets him in Hindi. Asked if he is a regular, the middle-aged man, who identified himself as a business agent from New Delhi, says he comes to Colombo once a fortnight. “I don’t gamble, I only bring clients here,” he says. more..

Sri Lanka improves on UN-ESCAP Country Indebtedness parameters

May 14 (FT) Sri Lanka has continued to improve its external debt sustainability indicators, as computed in accordance with the Manual of Effective Debt Management of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Central Bank said, of the six external debt indicators that are used to assess the external debt vulnerability of a country, Sri Lanka is placed in “less indebted” category more..