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'From PM to ministers everybody must make sacrifices'

May 22 (SL) The present govt is engaged in an attempt to privatise state institutions, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. Pointing out that present govt, like its predecessor, is not having a proper strategy to rebuild the country, he says that even though everyone starting from the PM, ministers, Chairmen and CEOs should be making sacrifices to rebuild collapsed state institutions, the same things that had taken place in the past are still being done more..

Place emphasis on Pure Dhamma devoid of …isms!

May 22 (DM) Dhamma is a very simple process, which is taking place universally and every moment in every being, which any person can comprehend as soon as it is uncovered of the cloaks of mystery called …isms in which it was surrounded by the attitude, thinking and way of life. This is a time of pretence and falsehood -- hatred and greed rule the roost. Technological progress and digital miracles galore on one side, but lack of regard for beings and life spoil everyone’s hope. more..

Has Vesak lost its real significance?

May 22 (CT) Few, if any, have examined the contemporary social relevance of Vesak in Sri Lanka within the context of the undeniably massive corruption and moral degeneration, NOT FORGETTING THE RACIAL REJECTION BORDERING SUBTLE AND OVERT HATRED SATURATING THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE DAY. Vesak, or in the original, Vaishâkha, also, as the Assamese would have it more precisely, The Buddha Purnima meaning more..

A catastrophe calling for new strategies

May 22 (SO) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said they are now trying to amend the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Act and insert a condition that, in future, prior to constructing a house or building NBRO approval should be obtained. However, we don’t want the people inconvenienced, either. We propose to give a time frame for the NBRO and request them to issue the certificate within four weeks. more..

Flood relief is not a one week affair

May 22 (SL) The South West Monsoon lashing the entire island in May is no surprise to any Sri Lankan. Even school children know it is time of squelching shoes, wet uniforms and rain holidays. While our sympathies go out to all those unfortunate victims of these natural disasters brought about by the weather, it has to be admitted that our fore knowledge of this annually impending disaster has not resulted in effective measures of protection being taken. more..

Disaster: predicament and opportunity

May 22 (SO) As you read this column, the storm clouds would still not have gone away from over our emerald isle. They had begun gathering just over a week ago as the satellite pictures in television weather bulletins showed. The view of our skies from space showed the partially circular cloud formation swirling over the entire island. They brought torrential rains – some of the heaviest in decades for this time of the year. The mighty storm has now moved on across the Bay of Bengal more..

Foreign aid reaches Colombo, 71 dead

May 21 (AFP) Foreign aid began arriving in Sri Lanka Saturday, bringing help to half a million people forced out of their homes by rains and landslides that have killed at least 71 in a week of extreme weather wreaking havoc in South Asia. As the heaviest rains in a quarter of a century battered Sri Lanka, Cyclone Roanu barrelled into the Bangladesh coastline leaving six people dead and forcing the evacuation of 500,000 there. more..

OIC earns wrath of politicos for doing his job

May 21 (Island) Two overexuberant govt politicians created a scene over the Wellampitiya police trying to rein-in some buccaneer rescuers, when the OIC of the station insisted that any boat purportedly doing relief work in the area should be registered. Politicians even threatened to have the OIC transferred. OIC of the station was the first one to start a rescue operation hiring three boats from Wattala after pawning his wedding ring. Each boat was hired for Rs. 15,000 a day. more..

Speaker vows to take action against Harin

May 21 (DM) Joint opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane urged speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take action against Minister Harin Fernando whom he accused of using abusive words on MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage. "We are saddened by the language used by the minister on the MP and urge you to take action," Mr Gunawardane told the Speaker. He pointed out that the Speaker of the Australian Parliament had suspended that country's PM for using abusive language and more..

India lends a helping hand to Sri Lanka

May 21 (HCI) In response to the request for assistance made by the Govt of Sri Lanka and as an expression of our solidarity, PM of India, Narendra Modi, announced on May 19, that India would provide aid on emergency basis to help assist those affected by the floods and landslides in Sri Lanka. Pursuant to this commitment, India dispatched two ships of the Indian Navy from Kochi on May 20, carrying various relief supplies. more..

Waikato woman takes Kiwi teaching techniques to Sri Lanka

May 21 (Stuff) Sally Angelson used to teach English as a second language. Now, she's an aid worker for ChildFund. Some of the classrooms don't have windows, and the chalkboard's the main resource. But the school's pupils could soon be learning in a different way, thanks to a project driven by a Kiwi woman, and focusing on the eastern and northern districts of Sri Lanka. Sally Angelson​ grew up in Whitianga and studied international relations at Waikato University more..

Parliament special sitting to discuss natural disasters

May 21 (Island) Party leaders yesterday decided to hold a special parliamentary sitting day on May 25. They met at the parliamentary complex with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya presiding after the House adjourned around 12 noon till 1 pm June 7, and decided hold a special session commencing, from 1 pm on May 25 on the prevailing disaster situation in the country. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena suggested that Parliament hold a special sitting day next week to discuss the current adverse weather 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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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..

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