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The glory of Vesak in Colombo

May 10 (Island) Sinhala Buddhists have, for centuries, associated certain towns with specific Buddhist festivals. Chief among them is the ancient holy city of A'pura where white clad millions throng on Poson Poya in June to celebrate the introduction of the Buddha Dhamma to SL over two thousand three hundred years ago. The month of Esala [August] draws many thousands of devotees Kandy, our last Royal Capital, to pay homage to the Sacred Dalada - the palladium of Sinhala royalty - more..

Creativity inspired by Vesak

May 10 (DN) With the dawn of the Vesak season, quite a number of creative activities are observed helping the masses to gather knowledge creatively via interpersonal group and mass communication means. This has existed since times immemorial as the history records. In the first instance, there is preparation on the part of the adults to disseminate knowledge on aspects of the significance of Vesak, which marks the birth, more..

Award winning actress Leena turns 80

May 10 (LR) Award winning actress Leena De Silva turns 80 this year. Her acting career spans over six decades except a short period she was away from the silver screen due to the sudden death of her husband Ravinda Rupasena. Rupasena a versatile actor during that period passed away following a heart attack at the age of 49. Leena with two little children was shocked and grieved of the loss of Rupasena where there was a strong bond between them both in the movies and life. more..

Editorial: Yahapalanaya on F1 track

May 10 (Island) Various issues such as unkind cuts in former President Rajapaksa’s security, postmortems on May Day rallies and a govt attempt to tame trade unions have eclipsed the latest supplementary estimate Parliament approved to the tune of Rs. 330 million for ministerial vehicles. No sooner had the township of Salawa been destroyed by the Army’s Central Armoury blast last year than the govt demonstrated its callous disregard for people’s suffering by presenting more..

Gautama Buddha introduced the pragmatic way of life

May 10 (DM) 26 centuries ago, an unprecedented and extraordinary epoch was dawn in our human history which a multitude of people still respectfully commemorate and spiritually celebrate, not blindly but realistically. An incomparable birth, the full enlightenment and great passing away of the Son of Shakya clan (Shakya Putta) are the most significant events which are commemorated by millions of people through practice of giving, more..

Rights of citizens, social peace & trade unions

May 10 (Island) Hardly a day passes in this country when we do not hear of some trade union creating a rumpus somewhere and threatening to strike over claims that seemingly have to be solved immediately as demanded by it. And if such demands are not granted many problems and social disruptions may follow. The ultimatums are justified, clear and direct at least so far as the trade unions are concerned. Unions of trades, crafts and professions have functioned for a long time. more..

Singer Group revenue up 13.7% to Rs. 12b

May 10 (Island) Singer (SL) PLC announced its results for the first quarter of the year ending March 31st 2017. The results showed a commendable Revenue growth despite sluggish consumer demand resulting from drought affecting the income of about 30% of the agriculture-based households in the country, combined with escalating prices due to devaluation and increase in VAT. Group Revenue increased 13.7% to Rs. 12 billion. Traditional and thrust product lines of the Company more..

JO filled only 40% of Galle Face Green: CBK

May 10 (DM) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunge said that those at the joint opposition May Day rally were confined to a limited area of some 40% of the Galle Face Green. She said the JO had published photographs in the media in the pretense of giving the impression that the JO was a powerful political force. She said if all the people who participated in the SLFP May Day parade at Gatambe in Kandy were contained more..

I wasn't invited: Aluvihare

May 10 (DM) State Minister Wasantha Aluvihare said he was not invited to the Vesak Bethi Gee Saraniya or the devotional song recital programme to be held at Ambagahamula in Matale on May 11, to mark International Vesak Day and as such would not be attending this event. He told yesterday’s meeting of the Matale Divisional Coordinating Committee that he was the MP for the Matale electorate and any public event in the electorate should be organized with his knowledge. more..

President joins commemoration ceremony

May 10 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena ceremonially inaugurated Tokyo Cement’s 2nd biomass power plant in Trincomalee on May 5, as part of a series of events held in commemoration of late Deshamanya A.Y.S. Gnanam, Founder Chairman of the company. The plant opening was among a series of events held in commemoration of the birth anniversary of renowned late industrialist, A.Y.S. Gnanam, which included the foundation laying ceremony for a housing project more..

UNP appoints 3 committees to focus on future

May 10 (DM) UNP working committee decided to appoint three committees to look into party’s future. These committees will be headed by Mangala Samaraweera, Ajith P Perera and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Mr. Samaraweera will head the committee on communications while Ajith P Perera will be in charge of the committee on elections and Aikila Viraj Kariyawasam will be in charge of the committee on grass roots level more..

Kilinochchi demo, Mulliyaweli incident and Wiggie’s comment on Swamy Premananda

May 10 (Island) Former members of the LTTE recently launched an unprecedented campaign to discourage yahapalana govt from handing over military managed agricultural farms and pre-schools in the Northern Province to Northern Provincial Council (NPC). Hundreds of ex- LTTE cadres demonstrated in former LTTE stronghold Kilinochchi, demanding that agricultural farms and pre-schools be kept under military supervision. The military liberated Kilinochchi in early January 2009 more..

SL Transport Board cuts loss to Rs 1.1bn

May 10 (EN) Losses at the state-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) reduced in 2016 to Rs. 1.1 billion from an operating loss of Rs. 4.7 billion in 2015 as it raised passenger fares and increased revenue. “The financial performance of the SLTB improved moderately during 2016,” the bank said in its annual report. SLTB’S total revenue rose 14.2% to Rs. 40.9 billion in 2016 from the previous year while operating expenditure increased by 3.6% to Rs. 42.0 billion. more..

Private sector credit growth nudging down

May 10 (FT) Central Bank confirmed that private sector credit growth is nudging down and other macroeconomic factors are satisfactory, prompting it to keep policy rates unchanged. Most analysts expected such a stance during the May monetary policy review. CB kept the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) at a 4-year peak of 7.25% and standing lending facility rate (SLFR) at 8.75%, its highest since July 2013. more..

Prime Minister’s Vesak Message

May 10 (GDI) The thrice blessed day of Wesak dawns with spiritual significance for all Buddhists; in observing Wesak, we find the time to engage in activities of piety and sharing of alms with those in need. Sri Lanka has been a country, home to the tenants of Theravada Buddhism for centuries; for us, it is indeed a blessed occasion to be able to host two significant events in the international Buddhist calendar. The 14th United Nations International Wesak celebrations and more..

President’s Vesak Message

May 10 (GDI) The year 2561 B.C. dawns, marking the commencement of the golden era in the Buddhist history of Sri Lanka. I believe it is an incomparable prestige that our Motherland, as a place where the Buddha visited on three occasions, receives the opportunity to hold the UN International Vesak Festival. This is the foremost gift bestowed on us since SL was blessed with the greatest gift, the teachings of the Buddha. Offering the pivotal role for us in the 14th UN Int'l Vesak Festival more..

SLC unveils new Centre of Excellence at Pallekele

May 10 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday officially unveiled a world-class Provincial Centre of Excellence for Cricket in Kandy, heralding a new chapter in high performance training and preparation for SL’s cricketers. The new facility, the first of four proposed provincial Centres of Excellence is part of SLC’s ambitious National Development Plan to create a catalyst for all training and development activities across various more..

Ashan, Sanuka steal limelight at Colombo Supercross

May 10 (DN) Ashan Silva and Sanuka Sandaruwan won the Best Driver and Best Rider awards respectively at the inaugural Colombo Supercross 2017, the motor sports event organized by the SL Navy in collaboration with the SL Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR) which was conducted at the gravel track in Welisara recently. Ashan Silva won the Admiral Clancy Fernando Trophy for the Best Driver winning the SL/GT 3500 cc events while Sanuka Jayana Sandaruwan, more..

Rishad says food prices lower, consumer buying picking up

May 10 (FT) A steep drop in prices of essential items, sustained by steady supplies, has resulted in one of the best Vesak buying seasons for the Sri Lankan consumer. “Our work to control the supply situation starting 7 April on the instructions of the President has brought good results,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen last morning, responding to latest updates from retail and wholesale distributors of Pettah – Colombo’s wholesale market epicentre.  more..

Deputy Governor further reveals Mahendran’s controversial orders

May 10 (Island) Deputy Governor of CB Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said former Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s decision to go for bond auctions had caused the interest rates to shoot up. That had caused a severe loss to the entire economy and made to the CB tighten monetary policy unnecessarily. He said that when Mahendran visited the Public Debt Department of CB Dr. M.Z.M. Assim had warned him (Mahendran) repeatedly that more..

PNB officer killed, several others injured during raid

May 10 (DM) An official attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) was killed and two officials injured when an armed gang arrived on motorcycles fired at them while they were conducting a raid at the Piliyandala junction at about 8 pm, police said. An 8-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl and another man who were at the vicinity of the incident were also injured and they were admitted to the Kalubowila hospital. While a 11-year-old girl was admitted to the Hospital as more..

Retired judge heads committee probing EPF investments

May 10 (DN) The Central Bank has appointed a special high-level independent committee headed by a retired Judge to probe investments of EPF monies and ascertain the truth behind allegations that the Bank had incurred immense losses by these investments. This high-level probe will find out whether there had been any shortcomings on the part of the officials responsible for investing EPF money in a proper and transparent manner, said CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy more..

Chinese buyers behind surging demand for Sri Lanka's latest bonds

May 10 (BN) A surge in demand for SL’s latest dollar bond is putting a spotlight on the appetite for emerging-market securities, even amid the Federal Reserve’s tightening campaign. The small South Asian country garnered more than $11 billion of orders for the $1.5 billion of 10-year notes it sold last week, marking a quadrupling in demand compared with its dollar-debt issuance in 2015 and 2016. more..

Wiggy blocked by protesting unemployed graduates

May 10 (DN) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran was prevented from attending the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) session by a group of protesting unemployed graduates yesterday. Wigneswaran, along with several other Councillors, had to return without attending the sessions as the unemployed graduates had blocked both entrance gates to the NPC. The graduates have been protesting in front of the NPC for the last two months demanding jobs. more..

President and Premier have agreed for Cabinet reshuffle: Amaraweera

May 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had come to an agreement about the time for a Cabinet reshuffle, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said. While addressing at the weekly SLFP media briefing held yesterday Minister Amaraweera said there would be a definite Cabinet reshuffle. It would be done at an opportune time by the President. This would be done with a view to expedite the govt's forward march, he said. more..

CB Governor orders probe Bond fraud report leaked

May 10 (CT) An internal investigation will be carried out into how a secret report, in connection with the alleged Treasury Bond fraud was leaked, Governor of Central Bank Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy said. He was speaking to the media where he explained recent economic trends and monetary policies. He said: "We hope to decide on Treasury bond interest rates by following auction methods in a transparent manner. more..

GMOA politically motivated

May 11 (CT) "They are asking me to get another date." "I came from far away, from Matugama and I have been in the queue since 6 a.m.....What else to do? What helpless people...when you say there are two sad...why do they do that...whichever govt comes they give in to their demands, but however much is given, it is not enough...these people are getting their demands by sacrificing the people." "I came from Padaviya. I got into the bus at about eight last night..." more..

Anagarika Dharmapala revisited

May 11 (CT) This book is outside my specialisation; beyond my knowledge and competence, so what follows is not a review. I merely draw attention to the work, and to points which I found interesting. Kemper, a Professor of Anthropology, has carried out painstaking and thorough research, and quotes from the Anagarika’s own words and writings in substantiation of what he (Kemper) says. Anagarika (the homeless one) spent much of his life outside Lanka, mostly in India and in England. more..

Political parties claim victory at May Day rallies

May 11 (SO) In the aftermath of the May Day rallies, UNP, SLFP, JO and JVP made an assessment on the outcome of their rallies and their future political prospects. UNP said, they hoped to form a UNP Govt by year 2020 and added that it is still premature to comment as the National Unity Govt has to continue for three more years in office. SLFP seniors in the Govt also said, their intention is to form an SLFP Govt in 2020 and more..

Comfort of delusion preferred to bitterness of truth

May 11 (CT) This essay is about learned beings, who seek solace and refuge in the comfort of delusion, for they cannot confront the cruel truth. In his essay What is this fuss over crowds Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe an argumentative but a very learned man and a Trotskyite to boot in his days at Peradeniya blames me for calling an impressive gathering of people a crowd. In his logic crowds attend UNP rallies. He begins his indictment with an unreasonable twist of reason. more..

Editorial: More motormouths

May 11 (Island) Even the shadow of a doomed marriage is crooked. So goes a local saying. This is true of the fragile political marriage of convenience between the two main political parties. The SLFP’s decision to appoint a separate Cabinet spokesman (or braggart?) to represent its interests points to a severe trust deficit among the constituents of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition in spite of the yahapalana leaders’ attempts to paper over the cracks. more..

'We are not scared of MR'

May 11 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, himself a former SLFP General Secretary, said that he and the govt were not at all scared of former President Rajapaksa and the massive crowds which thronged the Galle Face Green on May Day. He said history had revealed that all those who abandoned the Party had returned and there was a similar trend being seen now. Here, he talks on very current contentious issues more..

Top 5 things Lankan Buddhists shouldn’t do!

May 11 (FT) I was born a Buddhist. As most Buddhist children would, I too learned the institutional-religious system. I’ve moved beyond that, and now trying to understand its core scientific explanation of life, the life Gautama Buddha and how Buddhism relates to everyday life. I have studied other religions and have consciously decided to be a Buddhist. For a nation that has been designed for millennia based on Buddhism, our people (not all) do some really stupid things. more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe, selfless leader of SL

May 11 (FT) Dinesh Weerakkody recently launched a biography of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe among a distinguished gathering. The keynote speech was delivered by Sashi Tharoor, Indian politician and former Under Secretary General of UN. He is the current Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. Minister Rajitha Senarathne delivered a speech and mentioned the leftist background of the PM’s father. He said that Wickremesinghe kept his multi-ethnic and more..

Anurudha Padeniya

Advent of Arahant Mahinda Buddhism reintroduced

May 11 (CT) Although it is widely believed that Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, Buddhism is believed to have existed prior to the establishment of the Sinhala lineage by the King Vijaya. Hence, Buddhism can be considered the oldest religion in the country; whereas other religions that exist today were introduced after King Vijaya. Historical chronicles such as Mahawamsa and Deepawamsa elaborate the arrival of Arhant Mahinda to SL more..

In search of the whole truth of Athulathmudali assassination

May 11 (Island) On May 03, Prof Ravindra Fernando launched another book at the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), Colombo 7. The OPA looked depleted to me and I have no doubt that the place could be given a facelift. Will all the professionals buck up please and make the place look attractive. Anyways, Ravindra’s book is about the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudali. Ravindra says it is the whole truth including the Scotland Yard report. more..

Revolutionary Strategy: The JVP’s 1971 Insurrection

May 11 (Roar) The military strategy used by the revolutionaries in the April 1971 insurrection was unique in the history of armed rebellions. The JVP, or the People’s Liberation Front, attempted to seize power by attacking police stations throughout the island simultaneously. However, it was poorly executed, and there were no adequate backup plans. The insurrection was crushed within a matter of weeks. more..

As Sri Lanka leans towards China, Modi's trip has high stakes

May 11 (NDTV) This week, Sri Lanka is Dhammadvipa, island of Buddhist philosophy, as it celebrates UN Vesak Day to mark the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha on Friday. There have been fourteen international celebrations, but this is SL's first time as host, even though it was instrumental in the UN's declaration of an int'l day for it. India had backed the resolution in 1999 by SL Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar (later assassinated by an LTTE sniper). more..

Vietnam says it with flowers at UN Vesak celebrations in Sri Lanka

May 11 (EN) Student monks and nuns from Vietnam in Sri Lanka have built a stall abloom with floral decorations to showcase Buddhist traditions in their country, as part of UN Int'l Vesak Day celebrations, which is drawing wide interest from visitors. Set in an international Vesak zone near SL's parliament, the stall aims to educate visitors on three Buddhist sects found in Vietnam; Mahayana, Theravada and the relatively recent Khất Sĩ mendicant school. "This is an effort by Bhikkhus and bhikkhun?s from more..