Dissolve Northern local bodies-ACTC
By Shelani Perera
The All Ceylon Tamil Congress has requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe not to extend the terms of office of members of local bodies in the North when they expire in February 2003.

Their terms were extended in April this year. The ACTC has called on the PM not to extend the term stating that the councils are highly politicised.

ACTC General Secretary A Vinayagamoorthy told The Sunday Times that the main reason for the Councils to be politicised is due to the EPDP. 'The EPDP, which is a very corrupt party, is controlling all the local bodies. If it continues in power there will be a lot of problems', he said.

Conference, book launch disturb Buddhists
By Nilika Kasturisinghe
Prominent Buddhist monks on Friday expressed displeasure at the title assigned to an international conference held in England from June 28 to 30 this year, and also at a book with the same title sponsored by the Buddhist Federation of Norway.

'Budusamaya saha Sri Lankave janavargika gattanaya ' (Buddhism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka) was the title of the June conference and the book which was launched on Friday at the Mahaweli Centre, containing presentations made at that conference.

This book comprises presentations by participants at the conference held at the Bath Spa University, U.K., organised by the UK Association of Buddhist Studies.

A representative of the Buddhist Federation of Norway, Bjorn Peter Hernes, participated at the book launch. This organisation begun in 1979 comprises approximately 8,000 members.

The book was presented by the Editor, Ven. Deegalle Mahinda Thera to Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera, Prof. of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Sri Jayawardhanapura University.

Accepting the book, Ven. Wimalaratna said he did not agree with the title of the June conference and therefore did not attend the conference.

"I received an invitation to this conference in the UK but did not participate in it as a wrong impression may be given by its title," he said.

"This conference had been organised by a Norwegian Buddhist society. It is the Norwegian Government that is providing the funds for this society. We have a doubt regarding the role of the Norwegian Government in the peace process. I think it is not impartial. They don't meet the Maha Sangha and other parties," he added.

The chief speaker at the book launch, Prof. J.B. Dissanayake said Western journalists are in the habit of classifying our people as Sinhala Buddhists. But is it a Sinhala Buddhist problem here, he asked.

It is wrong to say that the Sinhala Buddhist Army attacked the terrorists. This creates a totally wrong impression, he said.

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera who was listed to make a short address said the MoU had already been broken more than 500 times. Even last week a ship of armaments came in and the forces were unable to stop it, he said.

"At the same time they are calling for the immediate removal of security forces from High Security Zones. Therefore a justified feeling of fear has crept into the minds of the Sinhalese and Muslims of this country" he said.

Meanwhile, another priest in the audience, Ven. Athureliye Ratana Thera said the actual events of the conference had not been recorded in the book. The intervention of Norway in our internal problem has become an issue. Some of our priests dance to the tune of foreign donors, he said.

However, Ven. Deegalle denied he had accepted any funds. "We would not have been able to accomplish this task if the Norwegian Buddhist Society didn't give us funds" he said.

BC Perera passes away
Veteran journalist B.C Perera passed away yesterday after a prolonged illness. He was 69.

He started his journalistic career as the Negombo correspondent to the Daily Mirror in 1970. Thereafter, he joined the Daily Mirror editorial and worked there till 1981. He was also the correspondent to the Asia Week.

In 1981, he joined the Island newspaper where edited the travel and film pages. He was recognised as one of the finest film critics in the country. BC retired in 1994 due to ill health.

He leaves behind Amantha (The Sunday Leader) and Amindha (Westgate International).

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