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‘Face challenges in life without fear’



Sunday is Medin Poya Day

We should prepare ourselves for challenges in life. Accept everything calmly and do not be disturbed by anything that happens. Those willing to accept challenges would tread the path I preach. Those who run away from the challenges would not understand the path. The second step of accepting challenges is not to be frightened. Compared to the way you faced danger a few years ago, the way you do it now is a step forward.

Earlier we went to bed in fear of what would happen in the morning. Now it’s different. We sleep and wake up peacefully. Face everything happily. What has happened to your fear? It has disappeared. How do we eliminate the fear? You need to answer all the questions asked from you. Otherwise, you will not progress when traversing the path, which is built on the answers you give to the simple questions.

There was a time when we expected only good and beautiful things. But nothing happened as expected. There were also incidents which were not beautiful, and they made us weep. Now, we say we are ready to accept anything happily. What has happen to your mind? It has developed and become stronger. The Dhamma which causes that strength is the noble path or the path to Nirvana. Accept all the challenges calmly in life.

After you decided to accept the challenges, how would the mind react? The mind would spontaneously say ‘do not accept’. But, as you know Dhamma, the same mind would allow you to accept it saying ‘now you know how to remain calm’. Fear lasts within you as long as your ego exists. Fear exists as long as you feel you need protection and comforts.

More the expectations, the more the fear. Living without any expectations is freedom. Similar to an infant. What we need to do is prepare ourselves to live sans fear. Irrespective of you being scared or not, you will die one day.

Even though you fear falling sick, you will get sick one day. See how stupid it is to be afraid. Isn’t it better not to be scared than to be scared? So, it doesn’t matter even if you die because you have lived without any fear. This is important when you tread on the path of Nirvana.

Living without expectations and desires lead to fearlessness. Your mind is clear and clean. You know how to live without fear. You know how to face challenges. You have conducted mindfulness in two ways. Now, enjoy your life to the fullest. When you were small you ate sugar on the sly. Did you feel the taste? But when you ate it leisurely, how tasty the sugar was. People cannot enjoy life because of fear. People are afraid to enjoy the beauty of something as they fear. They are full of fear inside. When someone do not fear, he can enjoy the beauty of life.

A rich man was relaxing near a river after his meals. He was so attracted by the scenery and was enjoying nature. A beggar was passing by and the rich man said, “look at the sun setting, clouds and the coconut trees, a man rowing a boat, sunshine reflecting on the water, how beautiful it is”. The beggar replied, “I can’t see anything as I am hungry.” What was the problem there? Was it a problem with nature or in the mind. You do not enjoy life because you harbor fear. You don’t see the beauty of nature because you are frightened. Let go the fright and enjoy life. When you start doing this you will feel the taste much better than earlier.

Ven. Siri Samanthabadra Thera



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AG says no legal impediment to Bathiudeen attending Parliament



Public Security Minister: Those detained under PTA shouldn’t be allowed in

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC, says there is no legal impediment to Opposition MP Rishad Bathiudeen attending Parliament while being detained in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The CID arrested the leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) in the early hours of April 24 for aiding and abetting the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombers.

Multiple blasts in different locations killed 270 people and wounded about 500.

The AG set the record straight in the wake of the CID failing to arrange for MP Bathiudeen to attend Parliament on May 4 and 5.

The Island learns that Police Headquarters recently consulted the AG as regards the legality of the Vanni District SJB MP attending parliamentary sessions and the SJB, on his behalf, requested the Speaker to facilitate the arrangements.

The ACMC contested the last general election on the SJB ticket. Its parliamentary group comprises four, including Bathiudeen.

The police sought the AG’s advice after having received a missive from Serjeant at arms Narendra Fernando in that regard. The AG has advised the police that MP Bathiudeen could attend parliamentary sessions.

However, Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera has advised the police against the ACMC leader attending Parliament. The Minister has issued instructions in this regard having requested the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to prevent those detained under the PTA from attending parliament.

MP Bathiudeen has been detained for a period of 90 days pending investigations. His brother Riyajj too has been detained under PTA for 90 days.

 Minister Weerasekera, in Parliament yesterday (5) defended his decision to prevent MP Bathiudeen from attending parliament. Dismissing concerns raised by SJB MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran about the ACMC leader being deprived of his right to attend parliament sessions, Minister Weerasekera emphasized that he was responsible for public security.

Minister Weerasekera reminded Speaker Abeywardena that he had requested him not to allow anyone detained under PTA to attend parliament pending conclusion of investigations.

Weerasekera said that the CID wouldn’t have detained the MP concerned without valid reasons.

Perhaps, Field Marshal Fonseka had no concerns for public security, the former Navy Chief of Staff said, emphasising that the government wouldn’t conduct investigations the way the former Army Commander and the TNA spokesman desired.

Bathiudeen earlier served in the Cabinets of President Mahinda Rajapaksa (2010-2014) and President Maithripala Sirisena (2015-2019). The ACMC switched its allegiance to SJB at the 2020 August parliamentary election after having backed Sajith Premadasa’s candidature at the 2019 presidential.

Bathiudeens’ lawyer Rushdhie Habeeb told The Island that the decision to prevent MP Bathiudeen from attending parliament was political. Habeeb said that the issue at hand would be raised vigorously, both here and abroad, and a media briefing would be called soon to explain the situation.

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MONLAR draws attention to ticking COVID time bomb in plantations



By Rathindra Kuruwita

A large number of estate workers had been diagnosed with COVID-19, and given the generally congested living environment and lack of health facilities on plantations, the entire estate sector was a ticking time bomb, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) Chinthaka Rajapakshe said yesterday.

Rajapakshe told The Island  that the latest outbreak on the estates had occurred after the return of some persons from Colombo during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

“We had warned that this would happen. People kept on returning home although the preparedness of the plantation economy to face a COVID-19 outbreak was non-existent.”

 “If one person gets it, the entire line will get it, and therefore urgent steps should be taken to minimise COVID-19 spread,” Rajapakshe said, adding that such an eventuality would not only destroy lives but also cripple the plantation sector, causing an enormous loss to the state coffers.



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Clandestine dealings of fishers will precipitate spread of deadly Indian variant here – Expert



By Rathindra Kuruwita

There was a risk of the deadly Indian COVID-19 variant spreading to Sri Lanka as well, Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera told the media yesterday in Colombo.

Dr. Samaraweera said that Sri Lankan fishermen continued to interact with their Indian counterparts in mid-sea and therefore it was only a matter of time before the Indian variant entered Sri Lanka.

“We must be extremely vigilant. We have seen the devastation caused by this variant in India. These mid-sea interactions by the fishing community must be stopped.”

Dr. Samaraweera added that although the Dambulla Economic Centre

had been reopened for business yesterday morning, health officials had been compelled to close five shops as their owners violated the Covid-19 protocol.    

“This is a commercial hub where people from all parts of the country converge. So, if there are COVID-19 cases here, then it will spread across the country. Therefore, people have to act carefully and responsibly.”

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