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'No danger, remain vigilant'

May 21 (DN) The water levels in many of the flooded areas are receding slowly, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said as the govt prepared for the long haul. He asked the displaced not to return home for at least the next two to three days as they expected the rains to continue. “The next step is looking after the people in camps. We have several in Kolonnawa and Kaduwela and while we have food supplies for them, we need to have more more..

Parliament to go Solar

May 21 (CT) Party Leaders have agreed to go for solar power in Parliament in an energy shift from grid electricity supplies in a shift expected to halve energy costs sustained by the House. The current energy system of Parliament will be completely converted to solar power. The decision was taken at the Party Leaders meeting on 17 May when Minister Ajith P. Perera proposed that a solar powered system be installed in Parliament, drawing attention to the fact that this shift has been made more..

Aranayake buries its dead

May 21 (FT) While the military continued to dig bodies out of collapsing mountain slopes, weeping villagers buried 20 people together yesterday in the besieged town of Aranayake, after Tuesday’s landslide buried homes and people in its path. Among the dead was an army soldier, who was buried with military honours. The combined burial took place after family members identified the remains dug out of the rubble by military personnel over the past four days. more..

Vesak messages

May 21 (DN) Today, the Vesak Day, Buddhists the world over elebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and the Mahaparinirvana of the Gauthama Buddha, the greatest religious visionary lived 2560 years ago, with unparallelled compassion and kindness towards the fellow human beings, President Sirisena stated in a message to mark Vesak. “Buddha, after attaining the way to traverse sorrow through wisdom, taught the path to more..

Catholic Church appeals to help victims

May 21 (Island) Catholic church has taken measures to support flood victims through various means and the public have been urged to support the church’s relief efforts. The public have been asked to make contributions towards Seth Sarana urgently. Seth Sarana has given a list of items needed such as - rice, flour, sugar, tea leaves, coffee, milk powder, milk-powder for children, tooth-paste, soap, dhal, sardine, dry-fish, instant noodles, biscuits, towels, sarongs, bed-sheets, mats and pampers. more..

‘No epidemic reported from welfare camps’

May 21 (DN) No epidemic has been reported from welfare camps or the affected areas. People affected by the adverse weather conditions are free of disease. After touring the welfare camps with the Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Paba Palihawadana, he said the only issue is the people are subject to skin infections because they are constantly in contact with the flood water. “Children are used to playing with water which makes them vulnerable too. This should be prevented,” more..

Ministers brief diplomatic community on flood situation

May 21 (FT) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, together with the Ministers Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, on Thursday briefed the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations based in Colombo on the flood and landslide situation in the country. Samaraweera expressed appreciation to the international community for their messages of condolence and assistance to victims. more..

Opposition Leader urges Lankans to remain united and hopeful during time of adversity

May 21 (FT) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday commended Sri Lankans for their overwhelming response to assist those affected by the prevailing weather conditions, landslides and floods. “I urge them to continue their support as it is very essential to the affected people to overcome this situation,” the Opposition Leader said in a special statement released to the media yesterday. He appealed to all Sri Lankans to remain united and hopeful during this time of adversity. more..

Let’s sink differences to help disaster victims: MR

May 21 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged everyone to sink all differences and come forward to assist the disaster victims. Rajapaksa made this appeal attending a religious function at Weluwana Maha Vihare in Telambugala, Udunuwara yesterday. He said everyone was duty to bound to help the disaster stricken people. "Let us discard all our differences for the sake of those hapless people crying out for relief. "We must be thankful to the media for their contribution to more..

Rescuers struggling to reach thousands of marooned victims

May 21 (Island) Rescuers are attempting to reach thousands of people stranded by floods and landslides in 22 districts. The death toll from disasters has risen to 63. Soldiers and police personnel are struggling to find as many as 128 people still missing three days after a massive landslide destroyed a village in Aranayake in the Kegalle District. Inclement weather had hampered their operations. Estimated 425,601 people have more..

Buddhism, Nature & the Liberation from self

May 21 (DM) In the aftermath of the worst flood havoc in recent decades – with heavy rain, storms and landslides continuing for the seventh day – Sri Lanka today marks the thrice-blessed day of Vesak – the birth, the enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama the Buddha. Mother Nature is erupting because selfish, self-centred, greedy and wicked people in Sri Lanka and all over the world have polluted the environment, disturbed the delicate eco-balance and biodiversity more..

The worship of Buddha Images

May 21 (DM) There are three kinds of Buddhist worship. Buddhists worship the physical remains of the Buddha. (Sharirika Dhathu in Pali). The second category of Buddhist worship is objects of use and association of the Buddha. We call them Paribhogika wastu in Pali. Thirdly, significant symbols including anionic and iconic depictions of Buddha are worshipped. They are known as Uddesika wastu in Pali. The above three kinds of Buddhist worship are represented in more..

The power generation mix

May 21 (SL) Despite reports that the proposed second coal-fired, Indian-backed power plant in Sampur, Trincomaleee would be converted into a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, a top official of the CEB stressed that there won’t be a such a move by the Board. CEB Chairman Anura Wijayapala said that in case they decided to go for a LNG plant, it would be located in Colombo or in close proximity to Colombo. more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassination

May 21 (DC) The shockwaves of the explosion that killed Rajiv Gandhi twenty five years ago this day still reverberate today. Now film-maker AMR Ramesh, who is set to launch his movie on the assassination, brings back memories of that tragic day as he tells Bellie Thomas how he has himself been surrounded ever since by the events and people involved in the dastardly act and the investigations that followed. more..

Govt withdraws presentation of media guidelines

May 21 (Island) The govt yesterday did not present to Parliament the media guidelines to be followed by the electronic and print media during Elections for the approval of the House though it had been listed to be presented. When the time for Notice of Motions and Orders of the day came, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the Resolution under the Constitution spelling out those guidelines would not be presented as scheduled. more..

Vidya rape and murder: Suspects further remanded at AG’s request

May 21 (ST) The Jaffna High Court on Wednesday further remanded for three more months, nine suspects arrested over the rape and murder of a school girl in Punkudutheevu, after the Attorney General’s (AG) Dept sought further detention to conclude investigations. Marking one year of court proceedings in the Kayts Magistrate’s court with repeated extensions of custody of suspects, the case was taken up for hearing more..

Supplementary estimate that caused voting fiasco passed without a vote

May 21 (Island) The Supplementary Estimate of Rs 55 million which led to a voting fiasco on May 05 was passed without a vote in Parliament yesterday as the Opposition failed to call for a division on time. The Supplementary Estimate was moved by Minister Lakshman Kiriella and the Speaker asked whether the House agreed. As there was no objections at that point, the Speaker announced that it had been passed. more..

More focus now on relocating & relief operations

May 21 (SLA) Search for any more survivors in landslide-hit Bulathkohupitya areas has now been given up, and instead more attention is focused on ongoing relief and relocating operations of the Army, although mutilated human remains in Aranayake tragedy, still continue to appear from time to time. By Saturday early morning, Army troops in Colombo suburbs have meanwhile managed to rescue, evacuate and more..

A stairway to heaven in Sri Lanka

May 21 (FT) I arrived in Kandy, capital of Sri Lanka’s hill country, as the busy streets were beginning to empty, the chaos of the day giving way to the calm of dusk. Kandy is a temple town built by an artificial lake, and the smell of lotus flowers being prepared for the evening puja carried across the water, accompanied by amplified Buddhist chanting from megaphones placed along the walkways. more..

Disaster rattles Megapolis

May 21 (NS) In light of the current disaster situation in the country, Sri Lanka’s Town Planners have called for a radical overhaul of the thinking processes behind new development plans including a change in the standards and regulations for construction and the procedures adopted. Secretary of the Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka (ITPSL), Planner H.M.U. Chularathna speaking to Nation said the macro-level planning that goes into more..

PM attributes natural disasters to opposition dashing coconuts

May 21 (Island) Had the Joint Opposition members not dashed coconuts to invoke the wrath of gods at various religious places, the country could have averted the recent natural disasters, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday. He said so when MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena requested a special debate in Parliament on the prevailing emergency situation in the country due to floods and landslides. more..

Jayanthi becomes first Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest

May 21 (AD) Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala made history early this morning as the first Sri Lankan to scale Mount Everest. Another Sri Lankan national, Johann Peries, who was also part of the Everest expedition, is currently making his summit bid. Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, stands 8,848 metres above sea level on the border of Nepal and China. Before today, no SL had managed to reach the tallest peak on earth. more..

Take over maestro!

May 21 (CT) At the Presidential Sports Awards Festival organized by the Sports Ministry and broadcast over the National Channel Rupavahini, Chief Guest President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena made a solid impacting speech on today's situation on the local sport scene. The President's analysis was spot on, when he said that it was petty jealousy of authorities at the Ministry of Sports that was the sore thumb thwarting the nation's sports from growing. more..

Political solution: An organic process

May 21 (CT) Hopkins was of course speaking of an inner peace, since he like all great creative writers had the strange gift of tormenting himself, a gift that can also be seen as a fertile lack of balance in Roy Fuller’s phrase. But what he wrote was apposite to the kind of outward peace that we are looking for, struggling for, in SL, an enduring peace that we hope will ensue from a definitive political solution of the ethnic problem. That peace is conventionally imaged as a vacuous creature with a twig in more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

NGOs to conduct joint rapid assessment in 11 districts

May 21 (CG) NGOs are organizing a joint rapid assessment in 11 districts to obtain further information about the needs on the ground following the floods and landslides, the UN said. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York the UN continues to support the Govt in its efforts to respond to the needs on the ground. He also said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is helping to strengthen local UN coordination and more..

Japan, India send water purification tablets, inflatable boats

May 21 (CG) Japan and India have sent water purification tablets and inflatable boats as part of the urgent relief supplies to assist the families affected by the severe weather in Sri Lanka. The Foreign Ministry said that Japan has sent emergency relief items through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), including blankets, plastic sheets, sleeping pads, polyethylene water tanks, water tanks, water purifiers, generators, electrical cables and electric plugs. more..

Country insured for Rs 10B Covers natural disasters

May 21 (CT) Budget 2016 took out a Rs 10 billion national insurance policy with the National Insurance Trust Fund providing it with insurance cover against disaster damage, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. This timely decision had been taken by officials of the Finance Ministry to protect the entire country against natural disasters such as cyclones, storms, tempests, floods, landslides, hurricanes, earthquakes. more..

Buddhism in modern society

May 21 (DN) The ultimate goal of any Buddhist is the attainment of inner peace through the experience of enlightenment; this is described as nirvana. Because of its emphasis on individual salvation, Buddhism is often seen as a quietist religion that fails to consider societal problems and related solutions. This, of course, is not correct. Today, our globalized world is confronted with many social conflicts. Problems appear in many shapes and proportions. more..

Tackling the ups and downs in life

May 21 (DN) We learn that much of our life, we can’t control or do much to change it. Our health, the way people speak to us. The only thing that is in our control are our reactions to the ups and downs in Life. We can’t control the world, but we can control our mind. We can train our mind. To perceive something useful in whatever we do. Taking Buddhism to a Western country like Australia, one has to make the timeless teachings relevant so they can be helpful to all walks of life. more..

STF, Army personnel deployed to protect properties of displaced

May 21 (DN) STF and Army personnel were deployed to protect the houses and personal belongings of thousands of people displaced by floods in many parts of Colombo district, on the directive of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He had issued instructions to top defence authorities on Thursday evening as some people whose houses were partly inundated refused to leave them for fear of being robbed. more..

Dy Minister reveals measures taken to prepare national policy on mangroves

May 21 (Island) For the first time in the country’s history, the govt had adopted measures to prepare a national policy on managing mangrove ecosystems as it was highly useful for fish breeding and prevent erosion of both inland and coastal areas, Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne said yesterday. Addressing the Eighth Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Biennial International Waters Conference in Colombo, representing President Maithripala Sirisena, Deputy Minister Jayaratne said more..

Another landslide occurs in Aranayake

May 21 (AD) Another landslide has been reported from the Aranayake area today. Reports say that the landslide had occurred in the Berawila Kanda, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said. The Kegalle district, which includes Aranayake, was struck by two major landslides following torrential rains. A landslide had wiped out at least three villages, in Aranayaka last Tuesday, killing about 140 people, from which the remains of 19 victims have been recovered to date. more..

JVP leaders engage in relief work

May 21 (LT) The Red Star Relief Services Brigade of the JVP continued its community service of visiting and helping the flood affected people yesterday as well. The Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka, Sunil Handunneththi and Eranga Gunasekera joined the members of Red Star to bring relief to affected people in areas around Kaduwela and Hanwella. Another team of Red Star members with JVP MP Vijitha Herath more..

National Cricket team joins flood relief efforts

May 21 (Island) Sri Lanka National team expresses their solidarity with the nation. Donates Rs. 1 million to aid flood relief through Cricket Aid. Funds disbursed for potable water, medical supplies and other essentials. Immediate relief measures being coordinated. In a short message to the nation aired on television and via social media, captain Angelo Matthews expressed the distress of the national team, away in England and said, "We are shocked and saddened to hear of the floods and more..

Dead woman claims her ring

May 21 (CT) This tragic incident which is reported from a certain area in Galle is another story that was borne out of the tsunami disaster. It is not a general story but one connected with a supernatural incident. It was 26 December in 2004. A massive unprecedented disaster hit Sri Lanka on this day in the shape of a destructive tsunami. Thousands of lives were lost due to the tidal wave. There was a funeral parlour situated some distance away from the city of Galle. more..

Colombo stray dogs leave CMC bigwigs racking their brains

May 21 (Island) The Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (Vet CMC) said there had been a large number of complaints about stray dogs. CMC Chief Municipal Veterinarian, Dr Vipula Dharmawardanaa said some complaints were of stray dog bites. "However, the majority complaints are about other issues," He observed. The complaints have been made by the National Hospital, Colombo, Lady Ridgeway more..

Red Cross Society of China donates $50,000 to Sri Lanka on flooding, landslide

May 21 (Xinhua) The Red Cross Society of China donated $50,000 to Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) to support Sri Lanka's relief and rebuilding efforts in the ongoing disaster of flooding and landslides,a statement released by Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said on Saturday. Pang Chunxue, political counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Red Cross Society of China, handed over the donation to deputy director general of SLRCS. more..

Marooned people refuse to leave their homes

May 21 (Island) Most people in Wellampitiya, Ambatale, Kohilawatte and Kotikawatte areas are refusing to leave thier flooded houses for fear of losing their belongings though PM assured them of tight security. Tri-forces rescue operation teams’ sources said last night that some people had refused to leave their houses even if their areas were patrolled by Navy and Army in boats. Police, navy and army had taken measured to stop private boat owners, who tried to rescue more..

GMOA volunteers for disaster duty

May 21 (Island) The GMOA yesterday said its members were ready to assist people affected by floods and landslides. GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath pledged the Union’s support to the Health Ministry’s Disaster Management Unit (DMU) by providing the active service of one of its Executive Committee members. The Disaster Management Sub Committee (DMSC) established by GMOA would be coordinated by doctors more..