The Bo tree, which is considered a sacred symbol closely knit with Buddhism in Sri Lanka and around the world, has now become a controversy. However, the situation is different as far as the Bo tree is concerned. In Sri Lanka, the Bo tree is revered. Every Buddhist temple in the country has a Bo tree in its premises. The significance or the insignificance of the Bo tree will be defined by the people in the area.
Q: How did you begin your journey to become a doctor of alternate medicine? During that time he was a doctor of alternate medicine in the Sports Ministry. Q: Did Gamini Fonseka believe in alternate medicine? When I started practising alternate medicine I was able to locate all my medicinal herb requirements from our herbal garden. The World International Alternate Medicine Congress awarded me a special Merit Award.
Currently Dr. Weiss is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami Beach, Florida and Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine. He specializes in the study and treatment of depression and anxiety, sleep disorders, substance abuse disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and brain chemistry. Professor Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera, Ven. Kahatapitiye Pangngnasara Thera and Dr. Praneeth Abayasundere are scheduled to make speeches.
Even though the general perception is that the private sector has an abundance of female employees the latest statistics from the Department of Labour points to the contrary. The Department confirmed that the problem was compounded further, with around 64%, according to a recent survey opting out of the private sector. The male to female ratio in the Government sector was 54.9%:45.1% while the situation in the private sector was meager, pointing to a big problem in relation to female employment in the said sector. “It is due to these disparities that they are not willing to take up jobs in the private sector. We have proposed that the laws be amended for the future, so that until the Government fund is established, the private sector employers should be responsible for the provision of such.
Amidst confusions over the proposed mechanism to probe alleged war crimes, civil society organizations this week said that the international community was not obsessed with having foreign judges in a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to probe alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. “If the Government of Sri Lanka is definitely not going ahead with foreign judges it is up to the Government to negotiate and convince stakeholders regarding the matter and ensure that there will not be any adverse impact on the country as the result of it. If the Government is definitely not going to go ahead with having foreign judges, then the Government should inform the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of such a decision. The Government should then work towards building sufficient confidence and trust in a domestic mechanism, following which the Government should negotiate and convince the relevant parties,” he explained. He also reminded that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was not a body that could impose sanctions while adding that it could however be done by individual countries in relation to, for an example bilateral agreements involving Sri Lanka.
The content of the resolution which was brought at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 was the road map provided by the Sri Lankan Government. It should not be taken as something forced upon on us by the international community, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a highly packed media briefing in Colombo on Thursday. They, at the UNHRC, not only supported, but also made their recommendations,” Minister Samaraweera said. He further said that there were ways and means to follow the recommendations by the international community in a local setting. The Minister said that the fact had already been admitted by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein himself.
However, the USA continues to be involved with the process in relation to Sri Lanka. There is no problem with regard to the USA and Sri Lanka to the question of accountability and international judges. The international community is not obsessed with having foreign judges and internationals in a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to probe alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the government of Sri Lanka have a reasonably working relationship with each other. Yet, we, including the TNA are yet to know what is on offer in terms of constitutional reforms.
Although women and girls account for one-third of the world’s drug users, only one in five recipients of treatment for drug use is female. Women who take drugs are often stigmatized and discriminated. The past 15 years have seen a major increase in the number of women arrested for drug related offences. It must be noted that when women are imprisoned, their family life is often greatly disrupted. Sipp added that all over the world drug-dependent women are estranged from their families and ostracized from their communities and are left without any support.
The Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security say they have forwarded their observations and recommendations in relation to the proposed Counter Terrorism Act, the piece of legislation which is to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act, to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Sumanthiran had stated that the definition of ‘counter terrorism’ was unclear in the draft of the proposed Bill. It is reported that the original definition of counter terrorism ran to over six pages. According to Sumanthiran, the TNA had suggested alternatives founded on international conventions in this regard. According to Jayathilake, Additional Solicitor General President’s Counsel Yasantha Kodagoda was currently drafting the Counter Terrorism Act.
Speculations were rife on Friday in Colombo of a possible Cabinet reshuffle after a meeting of the government high rankers at the Presidential Secretariat. The meeting saw the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and several ministers including Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Susil Premajayanth, Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. The President earlier hinted of a change in the Fisheries Cabinet portfolio as Fisheries Cabinet Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, State Minister Dileep Wedaarachchi and Provincial Health Minister H.W. Analysts pointed out that this announcement was a precursor to a larger revamp of the current Cabinet. However, sources remained tight-lipped over the outcome of yesterday’s meeting.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Disaster Management are presently conducting a survey with regard to ascertaining information pertaining to those affected by drought and are faced with food insecurity, for the purpose of providing relief. Distribution of drinking water is the main focus of the NDRSC. The NDRSC has purchased 100 tractor bowsers and distributed 25 while the Presidential Secretariat has distributed 25 more. Out of 16 drought hit districts, presently water is being distributed to 12, while for certain districts water has been distributed and stopped as these districts have experienced a certain rainfall. The NDRSC has distributed 2360 water tanks and have purchased another 2000 to be distributed along with tractor and lorry bowsers as per the need and requirement of the areas.
A protest campaign was held last week in front of the Welikada prison demanding that the Government bring to justice the perpetrators of the riots which took place in 2012 and address issues faced by inmates. The protest was conducted on March 14. In solidarity, approximately 3500 prisoners at the Welikada prison engaged in a fast, a protest which they were subsequently scheduled to continue in order to bring to the attention of the authorities the issue regarding the timely conduct of their (particularly those serving lengthy sentences) behaviour related assessments and reviews, which at present were not being conducted, even though provisions in the Prisons Ordinance called for it. The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners is scheduled to meet the Department of Prisons authorities to raise their concerns in relation to the said matter. Meanwhile, the Committee which organized the protest called for the culprits responsible for the killing of 27 inmates.
Former President and Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is expected to visit the North this week. The former president will launch of the Enterprise Based Village Development Project (EBVDP)“On submission of the Cabinet Memorandum by H.E. the President as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the Project last week and expected to be formally launched towards the end of March 2017,” a statement by the ONUR said. The project would span across 113 villages in North and East, assisting to uplift their income generation activities, through 1785 selected entrepreneurs. 446 million which will consist of both credit and grant components.
Responding to an enquiry regarding a fight that broke out at hotel in Kiribathgoda last Thursday, popular model, actress and TV presenter Piyumi Hansamali revealed to our sister newspaper Rivira, that she had gone there with about six friends. One person in that group looking at me and made some foul remarks. I never got involved in the fight.” Piyumi further added that she was running all over to calm down both parties. The incident had taken place during a reception hosted by a high government official. According to reports, while the reception was ongoing,the fight had taken place between the group of six who accompanied Ms. Hansamali and representatives of certain media organizations.
If bonding was uppermost in her mind….. then the selfie opportunity that South Africa’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka HE Robina P Marks gave the members of the under 13 Cricket Team of Panadura Sri Sumangala Vidyalaya prior to their tour of South Africa is remarkable display of diplomacy at its best. The function was also officiated by the principal Thilak de Silva and President of the OBA Colombo branch Upali Gunawardena. Pic by Sasada Liyanarachchi