The national auditor also investigated the procurement fiasco that led to severe delays in fertiliser supply in 2017 and 2018. The subsidy was introduced in 2006 under the Mahinda Chinthana to provide a hundredweight of paddy fertiliser at Rs 350 with the Treasury absorbing the difference. By 2016, more than Rs 2.3bn—or one percent of total Government expenditure—had been spent on the fertiliser subsidy. During a sample test in 16 districts, the Auditor General also identified disbursements towards uncultivated paddy lands instead of cultivated ones. Only 40,500 metric tonnes were received on January 08, 2018 while 32,000 metric tonnes came on January 15.
Nita Fernando won the award for Best Actress in the Foreign Language Film category while Kumara Karawdeniya was adjudged the Best Costume Designer at the Festival. She is no stranger to international recognition, having been Best Actress at the Singapore International Film Festival in 1998. By the end of her first decade in the cinema, she was cast in the role that was to iconize her. Paangshu, Nita says, was the most difficult role she ever handled. His vivid sketches provided Nita at once with deep insight into her role and into Paangshu.
Wreak havoc and set free Bodu Bala Sena bigotry DID SIRISENA UNDERMINE JUDICIARY WHEN HE CUT SHORT REBEL MONK’S JAIL TERM? – DhammapadaWhat makes a Sinhalese, a Buddhist UNP Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera declared last Monday that Sri Lanka was not a Sinhalese Buddhist land. The statement ‘I am a Sinhalese Buddhist and I have pride in that’ is a racist and a bigoted statement. Even Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith last week acknowledged that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese Buddhist land. We are all Sri Lankans living in a Sinhala Buddhist land.
Zaharan had an open warrant for his arrest since last year View(s):Police knew of terror chief’s motives; but search dissipated after arrest of TID Chief Nalaka SilvaAn open warrant for the arrest of Mohamed Zaharan, the self-styled leader of the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) had been issued by a Colombo Magistrate back in August last year, but the wanted man had gone into hiding by then and the search for him had dissipated with the arrest of the then Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) chief DIG Nalaka Silva shortly thereafter, it has now been revealed. The open warrant had been issued after the Police TID filed a ‘B’ report dated July 2, 2018 before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, citing Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zaharan by name and stating that he was using the internet to spread disaffection among communities and also, for proposed terrorist activities. They were later bailed out while Zaharan had fled the area and gone into hiding. But the trail dissipated even after an open warrant for his arrest was granted in August last year as the TID DIG was arrested in September, 2018 on charges relating to an attempt to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena. The “B’ report submitted to court stated that Zaharan was suspected of wanting to create divisions between communities, especially among the Sinhala and Muslim communities with the aim of causing communal violence.
‘Purana Gama’: Recreated ancient village for future generations View(s):Anuradhapura is one of the biggest conventional tourist destinations in the country and is the most adored living heritage city of Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka. This dying culture is now re-created in Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura as ‘Purana Gama’ (Ancient Village), the latest tourist attraction. ‘Purana Gama’, opened in June 2018, is reincarnation of old Sinhala village culture in the modern time as a tourist Resort. ‘Purana Gama’ features twelve traditional village houses from Korale Gedara, Arachchi Gedara, Govi Gedara to Guru Gedara. Purana Gama is just 40 to 60 minutes away from the country’s largest parks, Wilpattu, Minneriya andKaudulla National Parks.
A low-key Vesak celebration View(s):Vesak was celebrated across the country amidst tight security deployment, especially at temples. Vesak decorations at main roads and junctions were scaled down, with no pandals and Vesak lanterns erected as is usual. The dansal offering refreshing drinks, ice cream and food to the people viewing Vesak decorations were absent too. Though there were less decorations on the main streets, Vesak decorations in houses and housing schemes saw an increase. Byroads were decorated and houses were illuminated with Vesak lanterns, buckets and lights despite the lack of crowds to view them.
National Trust lecture on cultural tourism View(s):“A single world heritage nomination for Sri Lanka’s post colonial fortifications” is the title of the 116th National Trust lecture to be delivered by Deshamanya Vidya Jyothi Ashley De Vos at the HNB Auditorium, 22nd Floor, HNB Towers, 479 T.B. This project, that commenced many years ago, was an attempt to make a single nomination to world heritage that identified and brought together all existing colonial fortifications around the island. Ultimately, the concept seeks to minimize gentrification of the remaining colonial fortifications. It will then go on to form an introduction to the 36 colonial fortifications that have been identified around the island. Further information can be obtained from the Trust Office Tel 2682730 / 0778081214 at the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology, 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7.
Three weeks after the April 26 attacks mobs rampaged through the towns of Minuwangoda and Kuliyapitiya attacking Muslim owned houses and businesses. Following the attacks, the Police swiftly moved to arrest a few names familiar and often linked to the Sinhalese far right. If fifty thousand, sixty thousand monks of this country get on to the road, what will you do?”. But Jayangani says Weerasinghe and Namal had fallen out long ago. While the puppet- masters of the Minuwangoda and Kuliyapitiya attacks have yet to be revealed Dan Priyasad is now out on bail.
May 18, 2019 20:00 UTC
This Vesak season, perhaps, the Rambodagalla Buddha statue, which is a powerful spiritual symbol of Buddhist faith, would be a fine example to pursue racial harmony in the country. A neatly kept stone staircase led us on a steady climb through the rock boulder to the Buddha statue carved out into a solid rock. There is an interesting narration how the seed was sown to build such a massive Buddha statue. The chief monk then told the student that Buddhists don’t take revenge, instead, showed compassion towards them according to the Buddha’s teaching. Reckoned to be the largest cross-legged Buddha statue in the world, the construction has been completed after 13 years and the statue officially unveiled to the public on April 30, 2015.
He was named Sri Lanka Under-19 team captain in 2002 but he did not get an opportunity to go beyond Sri Lanka A level. But when he was entering the big league from school level as Sri Lanka Under-19 captain, many spoke in glowing terms of him as a future star of Sri Lanka. His father once said that his son is the only Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year not to have played for Sri Lanka. Chairman and Managing Director of Lake House, Krishantha Cooray has provided his innovative ideas to guide the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year towards new horizons. That is precisely why the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year remains the Mother of All Shows.
The media pundits have shown their prejudiced mindset by their foregone conclusion that President Sirisena knew about the Easter Sunday attacks and did not take steps to prevent it. It was a serious lapse on their part,” President Sirisena told newspaper editors and heads of audio visual media. President Sirisena gave time to the media personnel to question him, and answered them truthfully. Most continued to blame the President in editorials and lead articles stating that he knew about the impending bomb explosions and failed to stop it. President Sirisena said he suspects that the terrorists, perhaps hastened the attack, because of the major campaign he launched against illicit drugs.
National unity through democracy or demagoguery? We hear the usual call for national unity loud and clear right now. National unity cannot spring out of a vacuum or from sterile political litanies. Political shibboleths like ‘National Unity’ go down well with the masses when demagogues who have no idea about such unity, roar about it to the ignorant masses. What political ideology guides the Sri Lankan people: Democracy or demagoguery?
May 18, 2019 18:58 UTC
Film on a great female in Buddhism ‘Suba Theraniya’ View(s): View(s):In line with Vesak and the 2562 Sambuddha Jayanthi celebration, ‘Suba Theraniyo’, a film based on Buddhist literature was released this week. Directed by Sumith Kumara, the film stars Ruwangi Rathnayake, Roshan Ranawana, Sriyantha Mendis, Dilhani Ekanayake, Mahinda Pathirage, Udayanthi Kulatunga, Nimal Pallewatte, Thilini Perera, Kumara Wanduressa, Manik Perera and Ranjith Naotunna in the main cast. Music direction is by Rohana Weerasinghe, camera by Ayeshmantha Hettiarachchi, edited by Shan Alwis, make up by Ranjith Thilakasiri, screenplay by Priyal Weerasinghe. To the lyrics of Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne, the playback singing is by Nanda Malani and Dumal Warnakula.
Bureaucratic bungling creates problems for foreign journalists View(s):Before he opted for a career in diplomacy, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha was a media man. So, he knew that like promoting foreign policy objectives of his country, projecting the real image in a crisis situation is as important. This is why, after the April 21 Easter Sunday carnage, he urged Customs Director General P.S.M. Charles to allow camera crews from reputed international television channels into Sri Lanka together with their equipment. A leading agency’s top engineer, who helped link live satellite coverage, packed his tools and equipment in nearly ten packages.
The Sports Ministry in consultation with all stakeholders including the IOC, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) and the Attorney Generals Department amended the sports regulations removing some of the intrusive and restrictive clauses. But it has insisted that all federations including NOCSL should audit their accounts through the Government auditors. The auditing of accounts by Government auditors is a mandatory requirement under the Sports Law for all national sports associations and all committees including the NOCSL. Sri Lanka has agreed to revise the Sports Law and the regulations enacted therein in line with the Olympic Charter and the Statues of International Federations, following several rounds of discussions with the IOC. The regulations underwent several rounds of amendments in keeping with the Olympic Charter but the Government is yet to complete the revision of the Sports Law.