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Urban Crocodiles: Should we be worried?

Apr 28 (Roar) Crocodiles are generally creatures that can only be found in rural, uninhabited areas of the country. But over the past few years the more frequent reports of crocodile sightings in the suburbs of Colombo have revealed that these creatures have a wide presence in the urban and suburban areas of country. Towards the latter part of 2015, crocodiles were also spotted in ocean off the coasts of Colpetty, Dehiwala, more..

Lighting up the Island with Metthaa

Apr 29 (SO) Vesak, or Viashaka, is the month in which the Full Moon day has been celebrated as a festival of spiritual enlightenment for centuries throughout the Subcontinent, and became associated with the Buddhist commemoration of the Birth, Enlightenment and Death of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. The Mahavansha and later Sri Lankan chronicles have recorded the regular celebration of this festival by successive rulers throughout much of our history. more..

Disaster Awareness

Apr 29 (CT) Disaster Awareness appears to be as important as Disaster Preparedness because of climate change. Dangers posed to life and property due to heavy winds inland, though not necessarily of cyclonic proportions, nonetheless cannot be downplayed. An example was the heavy winds accompanied by thunderstorms that affected several parts of the island on Friday night. If, the authorities enjoying Christmas festivities on Boxing Day 2004 prevented them from warning the masses more..

Barbaric Avurudu elephant-racing under fire

Apr 29 (SO) New Year festivities in several parts of the country took a barbaric turn this year, with captive elephants used as participants in traditional avurudu games, sending shockwaves through the conservationist and animal activist community. The practice is entirely illegal, activists and lawyers said, and action can be taken against organizers by the Wildlife Department. During New-Year celebrations, regular as well as more..


Apr 29 (Island) As hundreds of thousands of white-clad people throng the vast number of Buddhist temples found in every village across the length and breadth of the country on this thrice blessed Vesak day, many thousands of them observing sil, it will be instructive to reflect on the purifying effect this festival has had on our people for aeons over the centuries. Even the smallest child knows that Vesak marks three epochal events in Buddhist history, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and more..

State must act to protect Buddha Sasana

Apr 29 (ST) Never a week without a controversy; when to celebrate Vesak is the latest to be whipped up. Should Vesak be in April or in May is the question. The debate has emerged from the fact that there are two full moons falling within a calender month for Poson. Suddenly, in the very week Vesak is to be officially celebrated in Sri Lanka, questions are being asked – why in April? Had Vesak, the day associated with the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha been fixed for more..

April Vesak: The conundrum every 19 years

Apr 29 (CT) May has always been the month when SL dons its most colourful garb to pay homage to the thrice blessed day of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana. However, this year saw festivities arrive much sooner, causing confusion to many. As confusing as it may be, this was not the first time that SL celebrated Vesak in the month of April. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, an April Vesak occurs every 19 years, more..

Democratic rule in challenging times

Apr 29 (ST) My dear elephants in the Green party, I thought I must write to you after hearing of the plans to reform or restructure your party. Believe me, after the thrashing the pohottuwa chaps gave the Greens at the recent local council elections and the jolt that the Green Man got from that motion of no-confidence, we expected some real changes. Why, after the election loss when Maithri asked the Green Man to resign and he said sack me if you can, the Green man promised that more..

If only we were squirrels

Apr 29 (ST) Sri Lankans have faced so many shocks that nothing surprises them anymore. The 26-year conflict (1983-2009) along with two violent insurrections (1971 & 1988-1991) insulated country’s people so much so that nothing shocks or startles them now — even the struggle for power and greed by today’s powerful politicians. It was, therefore, a welcome respite from the daily drudgery of these bitter squabbles of politicians fighting for power (no more are they interested in SL) more..


The Sugandika Fernando blitzkrieg: A word of caution

Apr 29 (Island) The 56 minute vido of a speech by a young, hitherto unknown lawyer named Sugandhika Fernando exposing to the public the seamy underside of the legal profession and the judiciary took the country by storm after the New Year. This vido became a sensation overnight even though it was not taken up by any of the formal media in the country. It has gone viral on the internet because there was an appetite among the general public for something like this. more..

Rolling the dhamma wheel in Cuba

Apr 29 (Island) History was made on April 07, 2018 on Cuban soil when 25 or so Cubans, out of a head count of 75 or so attending, came to be initiated into Buddhism in capital city Havana. Held at the Museo Nacional de BellasArtes, Edificio de Arte Cubana, Sala de Audiovisuales (Audiovisual room of the National Museum), this is the first known formal introduction of Buddhism to Cuba. The initiation was conducted by Bhante Mihita of Canada, in the presence of three senior Bhikkhus from more..

The other political crisis

Apr 29 (SO) Reams have been written about the existential crises facing the country’s two main parties, UNP & SLFP, coincidentally, currently led by the two leaders at the helm of a fractured coalition Govt. But a lesser known crisis is also unfolding within the fledgling SLPP, a party backed by former President Rajapaksa, his siblings and sons. The SLPP had unprecedented electoral success in the Feb 10 local govt election. more..

Is SLC and cricket in general facing grave threats?

Apr 29 (Island) The social and print media is currently portraying Sri Lanka Cricket as in a state of shambles. This is not idle chatter. When a Deputy Minister of the govt not only lodges a complaint with the Bribery Commission, and also discloses information when questioned by Anti-Corruption officials of the International Cricket Council, people in authority should take notice. No wonder these allegations have also been brought to the attention of the highest in the land. more..

Tea-Cup cycle tour: 11 foreign teams in action

Apr 29 (SO) Sri Lanka T-Cup Cycle Tour organized by Lanka Sportsreizen (LSR) the organization which promotes sports with the aim of making Sri Lanka a tourism hub among Asian countries will be worked off on May 4 in Batticaloa. LSR commenced sporting activities 17 years ago with the Colombo Marathon which attracted many foreigners that paved the way for it to gain international recognition. The T-Cup Cycle Tour has already attracted as many as 11 foreign teams of cyclists more..

Who messed up Gazette Notification summoning Parliament?

Apr 29 (CT) Proroguing Parliament sessions is certainly not a new thing in SL’s history, but issuing three Gazette Notifications in a space of two weeks to summon the new session, due to previous two being incomplete or faulty indeed could be a record. In the President’s proclamation issued on 12 April proroguing Parliament, 8 May was fixed as the date for the start of the new Parliamentary session but it failed to give more..

No freebies for future high profile athletic meets: NOCSL Chief

Apr 29 (ST) The onus of taking SL’s athletes to high profile meets is on the respective National Federations, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) President Suresh Subramanium says, warning that no athlete could participate in top meets if he or she fails to meet the required standards. He says the NOCSL has decided to encourage athletes and other sports to reach the necessary standards, if they are to be considered in the future. more..

South Asian Junior TT C’ship: SL finish 2nd

Apr 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Junior, Cadet and Hopes table tennis teams arrived in SL on 23 April bringing 6 Silver Medals and 6 Bronze Medals thereby securing the second place in the recently conducted South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship. The championship was held from 20 to 22 April with the participation of six South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and SL. Asian Table Tennis Championships will be held in August at Myanmar and South Asian more..

What’s up Lasith Malinga’s sleeve?

Apr 29 (Island) We could witness yet another showdown between fast bowler Lasith Malinga and SLC after the fast bowler released a video last week indicating that he is ready to return to int'l cricket in July when the Proteas are in town. Malinga is currently in Bombay as a Bowling Advisor to IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. Since being dropped for the tour of UAE last October, 34-year-old has been overlooked for the tours of more..

Richmond retains U-19 title

Apr 29 (ST) An all-round performance by Sandun Mendis paved the way for Richmond to record a comfortable 29 run win over St Peter’s in the final of the Under 19 Division One limited over tournament final played at the Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium yesterday. Sandun made a top score of 42 and then ended with an impressive bowling return of 5 for 20 in his ten overs to help defending champions Richmond to retain the title for yet another year. St Peter’s despite a stubborn knock of 52 more..

It was the day of the chestnut mare Alcazaba

Apr 29 (ST) Keeping her continuous winning spree intact, Alcazaba, the chestnut mare, who earned the title Queen of Nuwara Eliya, clinched the RTC Governor’s Cup 2018 in style at the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse yesterday. The 1400-metre race had all the excitement that horse racing could offer with 12 runners bidding for the century old coveted trophy. Owned by Deepthika Jayakody and Purni Edwards, Indian jockey Kuldeep Singh guided Alcazaba from behind to gradually gain momentum more..

Today is Vesak Full Moon Poya Day

Apr 29 (SO) The supremely enlightened Buddha, occupies an unparalleled status, in the long history of the spiritual evolution of mankind, spanning several centuries. Vesak celebrations themselves, possess a surprising uniqueness. On this specific day mankind commemorates three transcendental events that took place in the noble life of the supreme Buddha. On the Vesak Day, with profound fervour, more..

German govt honours Ranjith Pandithage

Apr 29 (SO) The Chairman of DIMO (Diesel & Motor Engineering), Ranjith Pandithage was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in honour of his long standing contribution to German-Sri Lankan relations, as well as his outstanding dedication to introduce and promote the German vocational education and dual training system in Sri Lanka. The Cross of the Order of Merit was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss. more..

Two LTTE supporters get 10-year jail

Apr 29 (Hindu) The district court has convicted two supporters of the proscribed LTTE, who had procured cyanide capsules in a bid to revive the militant organisation, under the provisions of Unlawful activities (prevention) Act, 1967 and awarded them 10 years imprisonment. Passing orders in the 3-year-old case, Principal District Judge A. Kayalvizhi convicted the accused K. Krishnakumar (42) and his accomplice V. Subashkaran (41), holding that prosecution more..

SGM on May 13; elections only after June 22

Apr 29 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) ran into a major controversy on Friday after AG's Dept questioned the legality of the scheduled election saying the country’s richest sports body has contravened the Sports Regulations in force. SLC scheduled its election of office bearers for May 19 with nominations set to close on Friday (27). But the AG’s directive means the election will now be postponed to late June. more..

Novel pandal at Kadawatha

Apr 29 (ST) A Vesak pandal made of cement and depicting the Jaddantha Jataka -the story in which the Bodhisattva was born as a majestic elephant- will adorn the Gonahena area in Ranmuthughala in Kadawatha. The pandal, the first of its kind, was built using around 30 kg cement, ten metres of wire mesh, 16 liters of paint and fillers and around a kg of colour powder. It is to be lit up with 3,000 bulbs. W. Siripala (53) one of the two main artistes who sculptured the pandal, more..

No May Day for workers of Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (Hindu) The SL Cabinet’s decision to postpone May Day events to May 7, to avoid any overlap with the celebrations around the Buddhist festival of Vesak, has understandably provoked trade unions in the island. Nobody appears to have confronted the Maha Sangha — an influential body of monks — on its request to President Maithripala Sirisena, perhaps knowing well the political clout of the Buddhist clergy. The Colombo Municipal Council refused permission to hold May Day rallies more..

EPF follows streamlined methodology in investing in CSE and Unit Trusts

Apr 29 (ST) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has been directed to follow a transparent and standardised methodology in making investments in Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Unit Trusts following an evaluation made during a period of seven years from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2016. The criteria followed by the fund and operating procedures accepted by the fund when purchasing or selling unit trusts and more..

Some UNP members prepare for fresh battle as rift continues

Apr 29 (SL) A rift in the UNP is continuing as the party reforms did not meet the expectations of those who pushed for change. Sources said that some UNP members who had pushed for comprehensive reforms in the party, including in key posts, are preparing to launch a fresh battle against the party leadership. Several UNP backbenchers had urged UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to call for a vote to appoint members to key positions in the party. However, instead Wickremesinghe had made more..

Standard Chartered bullish on port city investments

Apr 29 (SO) The Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), one of the main financiers of the Port City project, is optimistic about growing business opportunities in Sri Lanka with the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. “We will set up a special China Desk to facilitate investor requirements and improve the understanding of the business environment in Sri Lanka as this will enable more Chinese investments into the country. This investor-friendly approach will attract more business and investments more..

Over 3,100 schools with less than 10 teachers

Apr 29 (CT) There were 3,148 schools with less than 10 teachers in 2017, CB said in its Annual Report, highlighting a possible insufficiency in the teaching cadre in a considerable number of schools. Nonetheless, Govt has taken various steps, including the implementation of the 13 years of guaranteed education policy, to improve school participation rates & align the general education sector with labour market requirements more..

Most sacred Buddha relics from Taxila, Pakistan

Apr 29 (ST) The most sacred Buddha relics from Taxila in Pakistan were brought to SL yesterday for public exposition at Temple Trees and several temples including the Gangaramaya in Colombo. Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was at the airport to receive the relics from Pakistan’s state officials. In a newspaper announcement, the High Commission said the relics are invaluable part of the archaeological heritage of Pakistan and depict the rich Buddhist history of Pakistan. more..

Public exposition of the most sacred Buddha relics from Sarnath

Apr 29 (ST) The sacred Buddha relics enshrined at the Mulagandhakuti Vihara at Sarnath in India were brought for public veneration yesterday on a request from the PM’s Office. This is only the second time these relics discovered by British archaeologists in colonial India in 1913 and handed over to the Maha Bodhi Society of India for custody have left India, and the first time brought to SL in nearly a hundred years. Ven. Pelewatte Seewali Thera, General Secretary of the Maha Bodhi Society of India more..

Fuel price hike: CPC, Treasury in conflict

Apr 29 (ST) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Treasury continue to remain locked in a controversy over how to increase prices of fuel amid a crisis of rising world oil prices and the SL rupee depreciating to the lowest levels against the US dollar. CPC Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga said, we are seeking a price adjustment with tax concessions. However, the Treasury has rejected the CPC’s proposal and wants more..

Nishantha R. challenges Sumathipala

Apr 29 (ST) Former Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga says that he has forwarded his nomination at the request of a host of stake holders who were of the view that the incumbent SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala should not get a free passage. Airing his views Ranatunga said “I represent a powerful anti-Sumathipala lobby that is of the view that Thilanga Sumathipala should be contested at this juncture. But, the way the SLC had structured the affair the Nishantha led faction more..

Kandy monasteries reject state diktat on Vesak

Apr 29 (ST) Two main monasteries Malwatta and Asgiri will proceed with Upasampada rituals, or higher ordinations, from May 29, Vesak Day to June 27, Poson Poya Day. Two viharayas do not accept April 29, as Vesak Day, which they claim is the work of a misguided astrologer. According to the Anunayake Thera of Malwatte, Venerable Rajakeeya Panditha Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera, an age-old custom has been violated, in that Vesak Day has been declared on an adhi Poya, more..

New look coalition after President’s policy speech on May 8

Apr 29 (ST) Preparations ahead of Prez Sirisena’s May 8 policy statement have all the trappings of a new look coalition getting set to run the 17 months of its remaining tenure. Two partners – UNP & SLFP — are giving face lifts to their parties. At least their leadership seems to believe it would earn them more votes at 2020 prez election and parliamentary polls thereafter. Latter could even be held earlier than scheduled. more..

Constitutional marriage: A tale of two past giants, two recent interviews, and a failed

Apr 29 (Island) They haunt us still. Colvin R. de Silva and JR Jayewardene, that is: they were two classmates, schoolmates and friendly boxing rivals, who rose to colossal heights in this little country’s constitutional evolution. JRJ won the ultimate political power in the late evening of his long political life. Colvin never won power, but he was always powerful and he would have been powerful anywhere. Colvin by the sheer force of his personality, that included his formidable more..

Venerable Ananda Thera: The Buddha’s Upatthaka

Apr 29 (Island) I am certain many a Buddhist like me, has special veneration for the Buddha’s personal assistant (or him who gave Him all upasthana) - Ven Ananda. Helmuth Hecker, co-author of Great Disciples of the Buddha with Nyanaponika Thera, edited with an introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1997, 2007), titles his chapter: ANANDA Guardian of the Dhamma. His first line is: Among all the great monks in the Buddha’s retinue, the Venerable Ananda occupied a unique more..

Tight police security for underworld kingpin’s family wedding

Apr 29 (ST) Even if murders, crime and accident rates are rapidly rising, Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera, has the time to care for the social needs of those linked to the underworld. Last week, two Police stations in the Greater Colombo area were given orders to take security precautions, of all things, for a wedding ceremony of an underworld family. The brother of an underworld king pin was getting married last Thursday. more..