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The eternal liberation taught in Buddhism is gained while one is alive



December 29 is Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day

It is common to see ‘May you attain Nibbana’ notices at funeral houses. But, it does not happen that way. All these are illusions. The eternal liberation taught in Buddhism is gained while one is alive. I will not believe if someone says that I will get something after my death as I will not be able to hear or see what I will get. I will only accept what I receive while I am alive. That is why Buddha talked only about an enlightenment before death.

Which would you prefer – something given after your death or before? We can only give credence to something given before our death. But, unfortunately, some people wish to have ‘liberation’ after their death. It is the misfortune of not realizing the truth. It’s clear how a wise person could be confused being caught in the false notions that exist. Where have the thousands of people ‘eligible’ to attain Nibbana gone? They have gone to hell.

As long as the path is ‘closed’, most people would end up in hell and only a few will go to heaven. But, none can attain Nirvana until the path remains closed. So, what needs to be done? The path has to be opened. We have to show the Nirvana by opening the path. It is something that happens while being alive and can never be attained after death. We cannot accept ‘offers’ that could be had after death.

The liberation preached by all Buddhas is gained before death. Now, the problem is how to attain it? What steps to follow? What is the correct path? Now, would you like to attain Nibbana by following the path or not following the path? Both can exist within you. Can anyone realize the truth by not following the path and not practicing the mind? How can it be done?

So, why haven’t you attained Nibbana until now? That’s because you have listened without preparing yourself. Only listening will not work unless you prepare. You have seen how children play. If a ball comes your way and you want to catch it, but will not be able to do so by having your hands behind you. The reason is you were not prepared to catch it.

Therefore, be prepared to listen. Maybe, you need only one specific word in your lifetime. How long have you been searching for that word? Hundreds of lives….thousands…. millions….? Before you start following the path, your heart should say this is the correct path. Then you listen.

When a person let go everything by mind, he becomes nissarana. Then, why do people enjoy pleasure out of senses? Because they are uneducated. They do not know about the path to Nirvana. Why do people hate each other? Because they do not know about the path to Nirvana.

People have arrogance, overriding others, showing qualities that they do not possess, gaining fame through lying, trying to be popular, chasing what they do not deserve, trying to acquire things they cannot, not willing to accept suffering, fear and sickness, what are all these about? It is about how uneducated and stupid they are. If people are wise, they accept all these. Accept and be prepared.

– Sri Samanthabadhra Thera

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Domestic debt restructuring will cripple EPF, ETF – JVP



By Sirimatha Rathnasekera

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) will lose about 600 billion rupees during the proposed domestic debt structuring, Co-Convener of the JVP affiliated National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) Wasantha Samarasinghe claimed.

Samarasinghe is of the opinion that the government is planning not to pay 20 to 25 percent of the loans it has taken from domestic sources. Successive governments have borrowed significantly from the EPF and ETF, he said.

Samarasinghe said that due to the depreciation of the rupee, the real value of EPF and ETF funds had decreased by half. “In such a context, can these institutions take a 20 percent haircut? This might be a big problem to the workers,” he said.

The NTUC Co-Convener said that a number of domestic banks, too, had lent to the government and domestic debt restructuring might lead to a collapse in the banking system.

However, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe says that they are confident of reaching debt sustainability without re-structuring domestic debt, which would lead to problems in the banking sector.

“There have been concerns among domestic bond investors about rupee debt/internal debt to be restructured following comments made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to the effect that financial advisors were looking at domestic debt. However, there has been no request to restructure domestic debt. We are confident that we can make debt sustainable without restructuring domestic debt,” Dr. Weerasinghe told the media at the CBSL’s 6th Review of the Monetary Policy stance for this year, at the CBSL head office auditorium, in Colombo, on Thursday.

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Powerful CEBEU says yes to restructuring but on its terms



Sri Lanka will experience periodic power cuts until 2027 if the government did not take steps to increase electricity production, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) said yesterday.Due to electricity shortages, the Norochcholai Power Plant had been operational non-stop, sometimes even without scheduled maintenance, CEBEU President, Saumya Kumarawadu said.

“A generator is down. We will get it back online within 14 days. We had started maintenance on another plant in June and it was to be back online in September. But it has been delayed till November,” he said.

Kumarawadu said there would be 10-hour power cuts without Norochcholai. However, the power cuts could be reduced in two weeks when the generator was restored, he said.

He added that while they support restructuring of the CEB, they oppose de-bundling and selling the CEB to various private actors.

“Power cuts might have to go on till 2026 or 2027 unless new plants come up. A proposal to build an LNG power plant is still languishing in the Cabinet,” he said.

The CEBEU President also said that the electricity tariff was last increased in 2012. In 2014, the tariff was reduced. Without increasing electricity tariffs, the CEB will have to get increasing amounts of money from the treasury.

“The government should have increased the tariff at regular intervals. We haven’t increased in a decade and suddenly we have increased by a large amount.That’s why it has come as a shock to people,” he said.

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SJB opposes blanket privatisations



… questions logic of selling cash cows like Telecom and Insurance

The SJB was opposed to the privatisation of profit-making government entities, Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella, said yesterday, in Colombo.Kiriella said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had told The Economist magazine that they are thinking of privatising Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Insurance.

“These are two institutions that make a profit. What is the point in privatising these?” he asked.

MP Kiriella said that they are not opposed to privatizing SriLankan Airlines, which has been making losses for years.

“We can talk about these things in Parliament. Even when we privatize loss making entities we have to take a number of things into consideration. What will happen to the workers? How will we compensate them? How will we re-skill them? We have to talk about these things openly before doing anything,” he said.

The Chief Opposition Whip said that one of the main reasons why people oppose privatization is because everything is done in secrecy.

“People wonder why things are hidden from them. We need to be open and transparent when we restructure,” he said.

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