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The ‘mad monk’ phenomenon

January 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

January 18, 2014, 7:19 pm

A monk at a demonstration

Buddhist monks have always been involved to a greater or lesser  extent in politics, but the sight of monks maurauding through the streets,  shouting slogans, throwing stones, clashing with the police, overturning  barricades, destroying property and making speeches in uncouth language is a  phenomenon that came into being only in the last two years. Last week alone, we  witnessed two such incidents – in the vicinity of the prime minister’s office in  Colombo and at a Christian prayer centre in Hikkaduwa.  This new phenomenon  first started off as a campaign against Halal certification.  At that time many  non-Muslims thought the anti-Halal campaign to be justified because there was no  sense in non-Muslims consuming Halal products.  Even outspoken Muslim leaders  like Azath Salley publicly accepted that there was no need for Halal  certification because Muslims had been eating Halal even before the  certification was brought in.

Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera on bhikku violence

January 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm

January 18, 2014, 7:20 pm

Sunday Island:  The phenomenon  of bhikkus demonstrating on the streets and behaving in an unprecedentedly  uncouth and violent manner in public has become commonplace in recent years.  What do you make of this trend?

Ven. Sobitha:  There is nothing wrong in bhikkus protesting  or demonstrating on the streets, but the bhikku image and identity has to be  safeguarded. It is only then that the people and the government will take  notice. Very often there are just reasons for these demonstrations.  When the  government does nothing to address these grievances, the other side tries to do  whatever they can to be heard. One of the reasons why bhikkus have come onto the  streets is to protest against unauthorized prayer centres. When such  establishments are set up, Buddhist organizations write petitions, and protest.  When there is no response, the people take to the streets under the leadership  of the bhikkus.

Religious intolerance reached its climax due to impotence and inaction of ruling regime – Karu Jayasuriya

January 18, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Attacks on two churches in Hikkaduwa neither isolated nor  accidental

January 18, 2014, 5:13 pm

The upsurge in religious violence in recent times is profoundly  damaging to the national psyche and should concern all fair-minded Sri Lankans.  Social and religious harmony is the patriotic duty of every citizen, especially  in a country that is emerging from 30 years of ethnic conflict, Karu Jayasuriya,  Chairman, United Leadership Council of the United National Party (UNP) said in a  media statement last week.

A heart-rending story of an old doctor living in an abandoned storeroom

January 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Forgotten and lost in life: Only dogs and cats to keep her  company

January 18, 2014, 7:10 pm

The Dehiattakanda Hospital medical practitioners with Dr.  Ranjani Gunawardena

Story and pics by W. G. S. S. Ranatunga in Dehiattakandiya

A group of medical practitioners attached to the Dehiattakandiya  Hospital last week visited the first MBBS doctor appointed to the Mahaweil ‘C’  Zone decades ago.

A courtesy call on a retired senior colleague wouldn’t have  generally made news, but what’s extraordinary in this case is that Dr.  Pathiranalage Vinitha Ranjani Gunawardena now lives in the dilapidated abandoned  structure, which served as the storeroom of the Mahaweli office at Cadjuwatte.

Sri Lankan government prepares to face the challenge in Geneva

January 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Sat, Jan 18, 2014, 11:24 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government says it will face all the challenges it may encounter at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva in March.

Speaking at an event held in Kandy Saturday, President’s Special Envoy for Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the government will face all the challenges against the country while safeguarding the country and its security forces.

SL officials exert pressure on uprooted people to vacate camps in Jaffna

January 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2014, 23:49 GMT] While the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaaksa is scheduled to visit Jaffna on Sunday to declare open a cancer hospital at Thellippazhai, the divisional secretaries serving under the SL Government Agent of Jaffna have been exerting pressure on the uprooted people from Valikaamam North to accept ‘alternative resettlement’ in the quarry lands at Kaangkeasanthu’rai (KKS). The ‘welfare centres’ where a section of the uprooted people from Valikaamam North live are to be closed down and this is the last chance for them to accept the offer, the officials have told them. However, the uprooted people remain firm in demanding the SL president to provide the lands seized by the SL military back to them.

Foreign service or family service?

January 18, 2014 at 9:29 pm


By Namini Wijedasa
DPL plum posts gone to ruling party relatives and cronies

An unprecedented number of positions in Sri Lanka’s once-respected diplomatic corps has been parcelled out to friends, relatives and loyalists of the ruling party, the Sunday Times has found.

Indians join Norochcholai coal war

January 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm


By Namini Wijedasa
Team from Chennai-based company here to detect leaks; Chinese to carry out complete evaluation of plant as CEB prepares to commission  Unit 2 next month


A team from a Chennai-based Indian company that specialises in detecting condenser leaks has arrived in Sri Lanka to inspect the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai, said M.C. Wickramasekara, Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) Additional General Manager (Generation).

SriLankan seeks massive bond issue to buy aircraft

January 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Sri Lanka’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines now wants to raise US$ 175 million (or more than Rs. 22.7 billion) through an international bond issue to make pre-delivery payments to Airbus Industrie for the ten new aircraft it wants to procure. Whilst seeking approval for this bond issue, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne has also asked the Cabinet of Ministers to request the Treasury to provide a sovereign guarantee for US$ 50 million (or over Rs 6.5 billion).That is to the Standard Chartered Bank, the lead bank that is raising a US$ 150 million syndicate loan.

BASL chief calls for justice in judicial appointments

January 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm



Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Upul Jayasuriya this week called for career judicial officers be assured of their promotions to the appellate courts, warning that any serious departure would be detrimental to the Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice.

Speaking at the ceremonial sitting to welcome the latest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Buveneka Aluvihare, Additional Solicitor General in the Attorney General’s Department, Mr. Jayasuriya said there should be transparency in appointments and promotions of appellate judges and the powers of appointment ought not to be vested solely in the appointing authority.

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