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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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Overtime gravy train for public sector back



Govt. MPs make contradictory statements on state of economy

By Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP National List MP Wajira Abeywardena on Sunday (26) disclosed the issuance of a circular by the Finance Ministry to restore overtime and other payments in the public sector.

The declaration was made in Galle soon after Transport and Media Minister Bandula Gunawardane lamented that the government was short of billions of rupees to pay public sector salaries, pensions, Samurdhi payments and meet recurrent expenditure.

Minister Gunawardena and UNP National List MP Abeywardena addressed the local media after the handing over of several buses to the Galle SLTB depot.

Cabinet Spokesman Gunawardena said that the government needed as much as Rs 196 bn before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and its projected revenue was Rs 173 bn. In addition to that Rs 500 mn was required to settle what Minister Gunawardena called bilateral debt.

Minister Gunawardane said that a part of the first tranche of USD 333 mn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be utilised to pay public sector salaries.

Of the USD 333 mn received so far, USD 121 had been used to pay the first installment of USD 1 bn credit line secured from India early last year, according to State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera in the second week of August last year revealed as much as Rs 3 bn had been paid as overtime to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) workers for several months. This disclosure was made in response to a query raised by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella.

One of the major demands of the public sector trade unions on the warpath over the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government’s new tax formula is the restoration of overtime.

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Now, Opposition wants Finance Secy. hauled up before Privileges Committee



Prof G L Peris

Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday (27) urged Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to act speedily on the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) request to summon Finance Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena before the parliamentary Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

Addressing the media on behalf of the Freedom People’s Alliance, the former External Affairs Minister said that the Treasury Secretary had challenged the parliament by withholding funds allocated in the budget 2023 to the Election Commission thereby sabotaging the election.

Prof. Peiris said that there couldn’t be a far worse violation of parliamentary privileges than a government official undermining Parliament.

Instead of appreciating the intervention made by the Supreme Court to facilitate the delayed Local Government polls, the ruling party had sought to challenge the apex court, Prof. Peiris said, urging Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to fulfill his obligations.

Prof. Pieris said that if the government lacked funds, just one percent of USS 333 mn received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was sufficient to conduct the election.

The ex-minister said that the IMF wouldn’t oppose the utilisation of a fraction of the first tranche of USD 2.9 bn loan facility provided over a period of four years to guarantee the constitutional rights of the Sri Lankan electorate. (SF)

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Cabinet nod for fuel distribution by three foreign companies



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera announced yesterday that the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval for allowing China’s Sinopec, Australia’s United Petroleum and RM Parks of the USA, in collaboration with multinational Oil and Gas Company – Shell plc, to enter the fuel retail market in Sri Lanka.

The minister said that each of the three companies would be given 150 dealer operated fuel stations, which are currently operated by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). A further 50 fuel stations at new locations will be established by each selected company, he said.

They will be granted licences to operate for 20 years to import, store, distribute and sell petroleum products in Sri Lanka, the minister tweeted.

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