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Those with a sound knowledge of Dhamma know the path to Nirvana



January 28 was Duruthu Poya

Let us discuss whether a person who develops the path to Nirvana can do it all at once or gradually. Those who have a sound knowledge of Dhamma know the path to Nirvana. We need to slow down when walking on this path. Moving faster may cause more mistakes. If that happens, the distance we will have to go will be longer.

Go slow and be mindful. We call it mindfulness. About what? Have I been mindful? Have I conducted mindfulness? Have I lost my mind by trying to conduct mindfulness? Am I aware that I have lost mindfulness? Am I aware of having mindfulness and not having mindfulness? What is the mindfulness that exists and that do not exist? The mindfulness that exists is the mindfulness that you conduct. If you perform an act, do it mindfully. Be aware that you do it. If you are performing an act without being aware, just be aware that you are doing it without being aware.

You need to analyze it both ways. Apart from these two methods, is there any other way that you can conduct your mindfulness? They are the only ways. You can conduct your mindfulness either with awareness or without awareness. Apart from these two methods, nothing will work. But we all have heard only about the first method. That is to conduct mindfulness by force. I know a way to conduct mindfulness effortlessly.

All those who are enlightened knows it. All those who are enlightened are in that effortless mindfulness. That is why they do not feel exhausted.

If your vehicle is out of fuel, the tank needs to be filled up. Similarly, I will not ask you to walk continuously on this path. I ask you to stop for a while and take a rest. This resting time is the fuel to your next step in the journey. While resting we need to adjust our drawbacks. When we stop to have tea during a journey, what will the ladies do if their hair is disheveled? They will comb it again. We need to correct the drawbacks in our journey.

If I am asked what the easiest thing in the world is, my answer would be attaining Nibbana. But you have been taught that it’s the most difficult thing to achieve. You were told in such a way because the correct path is unknown. If the correct path is known, it would be the easier to attain Nibbana. But you need to understand very carefully.

There is a Sutra called Musika which many may not have heard of. Now, I am going to tell how to do, without ‘doing’. If we are to do something, there will always be a result. Even for not doing something, there will be a result. But when you do without ‘doing’, there would not be a result at all. So, then that’s the correct path.

– Ven. Sri Samanthabadra Thera

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Lawyers request CJ to decide if political victimisation PCoI report amounts to contempt of court



by A. J. A. Abeynayake

Four lawyers yesterday complained to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, requesting an investigation to determine whether the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, which probed political victimisation under the previous government, amount to contempt of court.

The four petitioners, Senaka Perera, Achala Seneviratne, Namal Rajapaksa and Thambiah Jeyaratnaraja have, in their complaint, stated they are of the view that the final recommendations of the Commission, which probed the period from January 8, 2015 to November 19, 2019, amounted to contempt of court and were inimical to the judicial system.

The lawyers have also requested that the Chief Justice pay attention to the recommendation by the commission that R. Duminda Silva be exonerated from all charges against him and the recommendation that Attorney General request that a full bench of the Supreme Court conduct a judicial review of the death sentence passed on Silva.

The lawyers pointed out that if an accused is not satisfied with a judgement delivered against him, he could request for a fuller bench to hear his case, but a third party cannot request a review of the verdict. The petitioners have also said that the Commission with its recommendations has caused an affront to the dignity of the court, its independence and the trust of the people.

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Amaraweera plans to ban certain types of plastic, polythene



Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera examining some eco-friendly products that can be used in place of polythene and plastic.  Picture shows some such products.

Been there, heard that – environmentalists

By Ifham Nizam

The Environment Ministry yesterday reiterated that steps would be taken to ban the use of several types of plastic and polythene in the country from the end of this month.

Contacted for comment, environmentalists said that they had heard similar pledges to ban those products by previous Environment Ministers, but there had been no bans.

Previous Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who even promised to ban asbestos besides harmful types of plastic and polythene had done absolutely nothing, they said adding that “He as the President of the country failed to ship back even the toxic garbage containers dumped here by the UK”.

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday said the items to be banned would include disposable polythene and plastic, PET bottles (Poly Ethylene Terephthalate), lunch sheets thinner than 20 microns, sachets, excluding Food and Drug packaging, cotton buds, and inflatable plastic toys.

Amaraweera said that the focus of businesses on new alternatives to plastics and polythene was seen as a way to protect the environment.

The release of excessive amounts of plastics and polythene materials into the environment caused environmental degradation, the Minister said.

The Environment Ministry is having discussions with various stakeholders to introduce eco-friendly alternative products.

Amaraweera last week had a meeting with several private sector entrepreneurs.

Some industrialists also presented to the Minister some of the eco-friendly products they were using.

Plans are afoot to prepare a list of several plastic and polythene products, to be banned from March 31. About 350 products would be banned before the end of the current year, the Minister said.

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Fishing cats victims of mistaken identify 



Villagers kill them as they resemble leopard cubs

By Ifham Nizam

The killing of fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus) is on the rise countrywide mainly because they resemble leopard cubs. They also end up as road kill.

The Sinhala term for fishing cats–– ‘Handun Diviya’––gives the jitters to many villagers who fear that the animals are leopards and a threat to them, according to researcher cum conservationist Chaminda Jayasekara.

Following the death of a farmer in a leopard attack recently, fishing cats are also being increasingly targeted and killed especially in some parts of the hill country.

“In some parts of Nawalapitiya, children fear to go out when word gets around that ‘Handun Diviyas’ were lurking in the vicinity,” Jayasekera said.

The killing of fishing cats happen primarily because some people assume that they could harm them as the animals are often misidentified as leopard cubs. This happens especially in the tea plantation areas due to the lack of knowledge of the species, Jayasekera stressed.

A large number of reptiles, small mammals and birds continue to perish on roads because when highways and other roads are built, only the safety of humans is taken into consideration, according to Jayasekera.

Naturalist cum author, Rajika Gamage yesterday told The Island that when highways were constructed here unlike in other parts of the world green highway concept was ignored. “There should be tunnels to give safe passage for small animals,” he said.

More than dozens of fishing cats were being killed recently in road accidents or in attacks by villagers, he too said.

A dead fishing cat had been found last week near the Log Hill tea estate belonging to the Mayfield estate in Kotagala, Hatton, Dimbula Police said.

Police believe the animal may have died in a road mishap.



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