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SRI LANKA AMARAPURA MAHA NIKAYA SANGHA SABHA OFFICE NAMED ‘SIR CYRIL DE ZOYSA COMMEMORATION BUILDING’ TO BE DECLARED OPEN SOON

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The Office Complex of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya Sangha Sabha soon to be named the ‘Headquarters of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya’ located at No.70, Galle Road, Wellawatta, is scheduled to be declared open on the 15th August 2020. This building is by way of the fulfillment of a prime need experienced by this Sangha Sabha from its very inception in Sri Lanka in the year 1803.

The Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya which consists of 22 Chapters, made temporary headquarters out of each particular Vihara or the dwellings of the monk who for the time being held the position of the Supreme Chief or Maha Nayaka and used such Vihara on a temporary basis as the office as well. But henceforth, the Amarapura Maha Nikaya will be able to serve independent of such subsidiary sects and have here in this complex its permanent centre, where both the lay and the ordained – the monks as well as the lay members or the sustainer staff, viz. the Nikayabhivurdhi Sabha – will be able to utilize this building from where they would be able to discharge the administrative duties of the Nikaya.

At the time His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa was the incumbent Executive President of Sri Lanka, a request for the donation of this land located in Wellawatta, was made to him by the Venerable Agga Maha Panditha Mahopadyaya Kotugoda Dhammavasa Mahimi, Supreme Maha Nayaka of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya. In response, His Excellency donated this as a sacred offering to be used for the purposes set out here. This administrative building will be declared open by Hon.Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest.

The Maha Nayakas of the 22 Chapters of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, the Chief Lekhakadhikaris of these Chapters, Secretary, Ministry of Buddha Sasana and the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs are all due to attend this Opening Ceremony.Former Head as well as the incumbent Head of the Navy are scheduled to participate in this event, to represent the Navy personnel who provided the services of the construction of the building and timely completion of the work. 95% of the construction cost of Rs.60Mn was met by Mr.Ajita de Zoysa, Vice President of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Nikyabhivurdhi Dayaka Sabha.

It is on a proposal made by the Supreme Maha Nayaka of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya, the Venerable Agga Maha Panditha Mahopadyaya Kotugoda Dhammavasa Mahimi, that this building was named the ‘Sir Cyril de Zoysa Commemoration Building’.

We wish to place on record that it is on a decision made by a team of Bhikkus of the Amarapura Nikaya together with the Nikayabhivurdhi Dayaka Sabha that this opening ceremony is kept as simple as possible; the reason being the threat of the corona epidemic which is not merely a local but a global pandemic.

Further, in view of the significance of this event an all-night Pirith will be held in the night of Sunday the 16th followed by a morning daana at 6.45 a.m. on Monday the 17th.

 

 



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Bid to use private member’s motion to put off LG polls alleged

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Foreign Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has questioned the rationale behind President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s warning that the military will be deployed to curb protest vis-a-vis a Foreign Ministry undertaking to boost foreign trade and investment.

Addressing the Parliament, during the Budget committee stage debate, on 28 Nov., Prof. Peiris said the Foreign Ministry couldn’t expect to succeed in economic diplomacy while the government was resorting to repressive measures.

Prof. Peiris asked who would want to invest in a country where the people were warned of dire consequences if they held protests, and elections were arbitrarily postponed.

Referring to the long overdue Provincial Council polls, Prof. Peiris discussed how postponement of scheduled Local Government polls could further jeopardise Sri Lanka’s standing among the international community.

Prof. Peiris alleged that the government was planning to use private members’ motion submitted by Attorney-at-Law Premanath C. Dolawatta (SLPP, Colombo District) to put off scheduled Local Government polls further. The ex-Minister claimed that the motion meant to enhance youth representation in governance would be utilised to delay the polls indefinitely. He recalled how the Yahapalana government had postponed the Provincial Council elections indefinitely.

The rebel SLPP Chairman pointed out that the government had chosen MP Dolawatta’s motion, handed over recently, though SJB’s Imthiaz Bakeer Markar submitted a private member’s motion on the same lines much earlier.

MP Dolawatta handed over a copy of his motion to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 31. Prof. Peiris said that they wouldn’t find fault with the lawmaker for making proposals which the academic said were timely.

Prof. Peiris warned Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC, that Sri Lanka wouldn’t be an appealing destination for investments unless the government adopted tangible measures to curb corruption. Shocking disclosures at parliamentary watchdog committees underscored that corruption was at unprecedented level and needed immediate attention.

Speaking on behalf of the breakaway SLPP faction, Nidahasa Jathika Sabhawa aka Freedom People’s Congress Prof. Peiris said that the recent declaration by the World Bank that it would audit the procurement and distribution of fertiliser here meant that the world had no faith in our system.

Commenting on assurances given by the government that a new Anti-Corruption Bill would be introduced soon, Prof. Peiris said that existing laws were quite sufficient. The issue at hand is absence of political will to battle corruption, the former Minister said, meant flight of professionals and intolerable increase in taxes on business wouldn’t encourage Foreign Ministry’s drive.

At the onset of his speech, lawmaker Peiris asked whether the government was genuine about the recent declaration that the national issue could be resolved by the enactment of a new Constitution by the next Independence Day. Who would take such a promise seriously against the backdrop of all previous attempts undertaken by far more stable governments failing to achieve the desired results? the former law professor asked. The former minister also questioned the feasibility of forming an apparatus on the lines of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Prof. Peiris asked whether those now at the helm really had the wherewithal to meet the South African standards.

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State FM assures there won’t be shortage of milk powder

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State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday (29) that there would be no shortage of milk powder in the coming days due to the Customs holding a consignment of six containers of milk powder, imported into the country, for violating regulations.

Minister Siyambalapitiya said the six containers had 105,375 kilos of full cream milk powder, imported from New Zealand, via Malaysia. It reached the Colombo port on 20 Oct. It was only after the consignment had arrived in the Port that the importers submitted the letters to get the consignment released from the Controller Imports and Exports. Arrangements would be made to release the stock from the harbour on the recommendation of the Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Food Security.

As such, there is no need for permission from the Controller Import and Export to release the stock, the minister said, adding that there were no limitations imposed on importing milk powder and there would be no cause for panic buying in fear of a shortage of milk powder in the coming days.

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Dolawatta responds to GL

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SLPP MP Premanath C. Dolawatta said his private member’s motion wouldn’t lead to the postponement of local government polls. He said he felt the need to restore the 25% quota for youth, even before he entered Parliament, consequent to the August 2020 general election. The government and the Opposition could quickly reach a consensus on the proposals, and avoid unnecessary complications. MP Dolawatta said so when The Island sought his response to accusations made by Prof. Peiris, who said that time was rapidly running out for Local Government polls. As the nomination process needed to be commenced soon to ensure that 341 Local Government bodies could be constituted by 20 March 2023.

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