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When your mind is awakened, it makes your inside visible to yourself

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October 30 was Vap Full Moon Poya Day

Let go of all and stay free. Try to awaken the mind. Always make your mind clear. Awaken the wisdom. When your mind is awakened, it makes your inside visible to yourself. Many people don’t see the depth of their mind because their mind is filled with defilements. Let your mind be calm. Let it be serene. Let your mind lower the speed of your thoughts. Make it clear that everything is an illusion. Understand that there should not be attachments, expectations and ambitions.

There should be no point running behind anything. As you come to terms with this, the speed of thoughts will reduce. If you think that things really exist, you have to struggle to protect them. They can never be protected by guarding. But, when the reality is realized, we become equanimous. Accordingly, the number of thoughts become less. We will be in a big trouble if we think that they really exist. Because, we will struggle to protect them.

If we let go of them, there will be no thoughts. If we feel thirsty, we drink a glass of water. We drink water and keep away the glass. Then, there isn’t any thought in the mind. Thereafter, we realize the wonder of Dhamma we have found. If we feel this much happiness by the detachment of the glass of water, we will let go of the table on which the glass was placed. And the flower pot next to the table too. Then, I begin to realize a Dhamma not heard before. That means, the rapidity of the thoughts in the mind is soundly reduced. Thoughts generate in the mind because there is an attachment.

When someone walking on the road sees a youth who has taken drugs or a person who has injured himself, he pities them. Just a few thoughts, but he is hardly affected by them. While walking further, he sees his own son who has taken drugs. What happens? Limitless thoughts flow into the mind and affects him hard. Both children are of the same age. But, he is troubled deeply about his son.

It is not due to a problem with two children. He bears two attitudes regarding the two children. He has never seen the first child before. Therefore, some usual thoughts of pity comes to his mind. But his son has been with him all his life. That was why he felt so much sadness. Why do these thoughts come to your mind? It is only until you feel the idea of “myself” and “mine.” Only an intelligent person realizes this phenomenon. He understands that the thoughts generate until the ego exists.

What should he do to make his mind clear? He should let go of his ego. He can be perceived by letting go of the ego. Ultimately, he will become an enlightened one. After becoming an Arahant, he will see the same sight, that child and his own son. Now what does he feel? He feels the same towards both children. He feels so because he is an Arahant.

You have been thoroughly attached to the idea of ‘my own son or daughter’. When you become free from all the attachments after becoming enlightened, what should be the nature of the mind of such a person? The mind is very clear, pure, holy and sacred. The mind of that person has become blessed. He sees nothing special in the world. The mind is confused because of your ego. The feeling of “myself”, the concept of “myself”, the idea of “myself” struggles in you to protect yourself, look after yourself, nourish yourself and make yourself healthy. You think you should be highlighted. It causes thoughts into your mind at a stretch.

Each and every thought causes fatigue, stress, fear and panic. The root of all these is your ego. Everything has been messed up due to your ego. Everything has entangled due to your ego. If someone wants to untie this entanglement, it is necessary to let go of his ego. The attachment to all the belongings and possessions should be let go. Do free from all.

If you want to get rid of this life struggle, then let your mind be free from all. Then you will be free. When you stay free, your mind becomes clear. Your mind becomes clearer. When your mind becomes clearer, a better consciousness exists in your mind. Now, you have attended to the noble path. You have perceived it. You have realized it. Now you understand that when you keep exploring the deeper inside, the ladder used to get down disappears.

You all have children. They obeyed you when they were small. They dressed what you preferred. They worked according to your desire. They ate what you wanted. But, when they grew up, what happened? They did not obey you. They changed their lifestyle. When they changed their behavior, you felt sad. So, why did you think that they should not change? The problem is yours.

You thought that they should not change their behavior. Did you all behave as your parents’ wished? No, you did not. Understand the reality of the world. Do not live with the idea that everything should exist as your wish. When people think so, they cry, weep, lament and even die.

I read of a recent incident, where a man had built a big house in Texas, United States and later burnt it because he could not sell it. Legal action was filed against him by the authorities for destroying the property. He cannot destroy it even though it belonged to him. He died after he was found guilty. People die because of physical assets. But, if someone had preached him the Dhamma, then he would have become an Arhant as he let go of a huge property without any craving. But, unfortunately he didn’t meet a noble friend to guide him.

 

– Ven. Sri Samanthabadra Thera

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Mahara prison riot: four killed, 26 injured

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Condition of some inmates serious

Rioters attempt arson attack

Exact number of deaths not known

Situation under control – police

At least four inmates were killed and 26 others injured, yesterday evening, when officers opened fire during a riot in the Mahara prison. It was not clear how many had died, but four bodies were taken to the Ragama Hospital, according to sources.

The condition of some inmates was serious, a senior doctor treating the injured told The Island.

Police headquarters said law enforcement units including the Special Task Force had been deployed in support of the prisons guards.

The situation had been brought under control by yesterday evening, the police said, adding that inmates had caused disturbances over the spread of COVID-19 in their prison.

The riot erupted when inmates learnt that there was a surge in infections in the prison, and dozens of them had tested positive for COVI-19.

Most inmates wanted to be taken to treatment centres, making it difficult for the prison guards to control them.

The inmates turned aggressive and attempted an arson attack.

A fire was reported from the prison last night.

So far, over 1,000 corona positive cases have been reported from the prisons.

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SLPP constituent hands over far reaching proposals

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New Constitution making process underway

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Deputy Leader of the breakaway JVP faction-National Freedom Front (NFF) Jayantha Samaraweera, yesterday (29) told The Island that his party recently submitted 23 proposals to the nine-member expert committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers to draft a new Constitution.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva leads the expert committee, named in early September, this year.

The proposals consisted of what shouldn’t be included in the new draft Constitution under any circumstances, what should be retained from the current Constitution, sections that needed to be rectified, executive presidency and electoral reforms, the Kalutara district lawmaker said.

State Minister Samaraweera said that he had posted the NFF’s set of proposals to the committee after an attempt to hand it over personally to Room No 32 (Block 2) of the BMICH, where the committee is located, failed last Thursday (26).

Samaraweera was accompanied by General Secretary of the party S. Wijesiri, politburo member Nimal Piyatissa, MP and Uddika Premaratne, MP. A constituent of the SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna), the NFF group in the 145-member government parliamentary group is represented by six members.

 Responding to a query, State Minister of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boats and Shipping Industry Development Samaraweera said that their proposals reflected the aspirations of those who voted for Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the SLPP led coalition at the 2019 presidential and 2020 parliamentary polls, respectively.

The expert committee consists of Romesh de Silva, PC, Gamini Marapana, PC, Manohara de Silva, PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena, PC, Samantha Ratwatte, PC, Prof. Naseema Kamurdeen, Dr. A. Sarveshwaran, Prof. Wasantha Seneviratne and Prof. G.H. Peiris.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, assured Parliament late last October that the government would present the draft of the proposed Constitution to the House within one year. The assurance was given during the debate on the second reading of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on Oct. 22.

Responding to another query, the State Minister said the proposed new Constitution should ensure the country’s stability, protect the unitary status, thwart the separatist agenda, protect Buddhism, guarantee human rights of all, protect archeological heritage, food security and non-aligned foreign policy.

SLPP Chairman who is also the Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday told The Island that the party was ready to swiftly respond to the expert committee if it sought to ascertain their views on any matter in respect of the draft constitution. Prof. Peiris emphasized that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the SLPP received two massive mandates at the presidential and parliamentary polls to bring in a new Constitution. Well informed sources told The Island that the committee was trying to meet the original deadline to finish the assignment within six months. Therefore, the committee was planning to finalize the document ahead of Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Recently the Justice Ministry extended the time to accept proposals till Dec 31, 2020. Sources said that the committee so far hadn’t received proposals from any major political party. Perhaps, NFF proposals had been delayed in the post, sources said, adding that attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku too had sent his proposals. The committee has sought views from interested parties on the (1) nature of the state (2) fundamental rights (3) language (4) directive principles of State Policy (5) the executive, cabinet of ministers, the public service (6) the legislature (7) franchise and elections, including referendum (8) decentralization/devolution of power/power sharing (9)the judiciary (10) public finance (11) public security and any other matter not specifically referred to by the Justice Ministry. In spite of the eruption of the second devastating covid outbreak in early Oct that hindered the expert committee, it could make progress thanks to Zoom technology, sources said. Progress had been made, sources said adding that recently face to face meetings resumed.

The NFF Deputy Leader said that they suggested to the expert committee that the authority to introduce laws should be the prerogative of parliament and under no circumstances should such powers be granted to administrative structures at provincial or district level. The NFF also proposed that special laws should be formulated to cater to the needs of any community, constitutional guarantee that administrative structures shouldn’t be named, changed or amalgamated in terms of particular ethnicity and an elected government should function as caretaker not as the owner and the right of the public should be held over the right of an individual as well as constitutional guarantee to protect the national wealth for future generations.

Lawmaker Samaraweera said that the NFF also proposed that the country shouldn’t enter into agreements contrary to non-aligned foreign policy and not allow any foreign power to use Sri Lanka territory for military purposes, transparency in foreign trade agreements, constitutional measures to prevent dual citizens from contesting the Presidency, entering parliament, commanding armed forces, IGP, Attorney General, Governor Central Bank, diplomatic posts and serve as Court of Appeal or Supreme Court judges.

The MP said altogether 23 proposals were made and the NFF expected the expert committee to give them due consideration. Samagi Jana Balavegaya Leader Sajith Premadasa couldn’t be contacted for his party’s position on the new Constitution making process. Fifteen political parties represent the current parliament. Nine of them have just one MP in parliament.

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Final decision on GCE O/L exam, this week – Prof. GL

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Education Minister Prof GL Peiris told Parliament, on Saturday, that the final decision on whether the GCE O/L examination would be held as scheduled would be made public within one week.

Responding to a question raised by Kurunegala District SLPP MP Shantha Bandara, Minister Prof Peiris said that schools in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara districts, and the areas under lockdown in other districts had been closed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The reopening of these schools depends on the advice of health authorities. The most important thing is saving the children from the pandemic. If this situation lasts more than one week or two we may not be able to hold the examination as scheduled from Jan 18 to 27 next year.”

Prof. Peiris said the situation would be reviewed this week and a decision taken thereafter. “It will be unfair by some students to make them sit the examination while their schools are closed,” the Minister said.

Minister Prof Peiris said that of the 10,165 schools countrywide only 5,100 remained open at present.

MP Bandara said that many talented children missed their opportunity to compete in national school games owing to the school closure and asked whether they would get that opportunity.

Prof. Peiris said that the matter had been discussed with the relevant authorities, who held that it was not still safe to conduct sports events in the country due to the health emergency.

The Minister said that the government was thankful to the principals and teachers who had helped conduct the GCE Advanced Level examination and the Grade Five Scholarship examination successfully. Within 33 days of the Grade Five scholarship examination, the results could be released in record time for the first time. The teachers had rendered a dedicated service. Currently, between 90 to 95 percent of teachers reported to work in schools in areas that were not under lockdown. They render a remarkable service amidst great difficulties.”

Prof Peiris said the government spent Rs 137,340.3 million on teachers’ salaries, and admitted that there were salary anomalies, which had to be rectified. “We have referred the matter to the National Salaries and Cadre Commission and decided to pay an interim allowance to the teachers until that matter is solved. The Cabinet has approved this, and the Treasury Secretary has informed us that the payments could be made. Teachers will get that allowance very soon.”

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