moral decay with temporary ordination
By Nilika Kasturisinghe
A program to temporarily ordain men between the ages of
18 and 40 for a period of two weeks will commence on January 15.
of the Buddhist Cultural Centre at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo
7, Ven. Kirima Wimalajothi Thera said this program was being launched
with a view to combating the degradation of society mainly due to
the conflict between political parties.
not intend to take in children as they are already under the guidance
of their teachers, nor persons above the age of 40 as we consider
them to be mature," he said.
At the initial
stages the program is only for males who will shave their heads
and be clad in saffron robes. At a secondary stage there is an intention
of taking in females as well.
will be clad in white and observe the status of dasa sil mathas.
those ordained are to continue as bhikkus, those with wives and
children will not be asked to stay on," he said.
We intend to
teach through this temporary ordination program the importance of
living according to the dhamma, the practice of meditation and the
importance of human life, he said.
to forty men will be enrolled for the program, while a team comprising
about 10 monks will provide guidance to them. The public are welcome
to donate alms of vegetarian food and robes for the monks.
any public servants who join this program should continue to be
paid for the duration, the thera said.
also be happy to encourage and support any other institutions which
engage in similar programs," he said.
which Theravada Buddhism is practiced such as Thailand, Singapore,
Malaysia and Myanmar have similar programs of temporary ordination.
would take place under the patronage of Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda
at 9.30 a.m. on January 15 at the Buddhist Cultural Centre and at
the Meditation Centre in Rananwila, Kahatapitiya, Horana.
The internal crisis in the SLMC is persisting with
the rebel faction at a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
demanding that party leader Rauff Hakeem be stripped of his portfolios.
Noordeen Mashoor, spokesman for the rebel Athaullah faction, said
they had put forward their demand at a three-hour meeting with the
premier and he had promised a response within days.
He said they
were asking that members of the Athaullah faction be given the portfolios
being held by Mr. Hakeem and his supporters.
The rebel spokesman
also scoffed at a deadline set by Mr. Hakeem for the rebels to return
to the party.
He vowed they
would not accept Mr. Hakeem's leadership.
Meanwhile Mr. Hakeem has given the rebels the time till December
31 to return to the party.
in an apparent bid to boost his support among eastern Muslims also
visited flood-hit Ampara and Batticaloa districts to work out immediate
reacts cautiously to US suggestion
Sri Lanka yesterday reacted cautiously to suggestions
by the United States that refuelling facilities may be required
here if the US declared a war against Iraq.
was made on Friday by US ambassador Ashley Wills who said his country
might seek facilities here in the event of a war with Iraq.
Tyronne Fernando said yesterday said no formal request had been
made yet. "We will cross that bridge when we come to it,"
the main opposition People's Alliance, former Minister Nimal Siripala
de Silva said he hoped there would be no war. He said that if the
United States went to war outside the UN resolution, then Sri Lanka
should not provide any facilities.
Japan to invest more if peace moves
By Shamillia Sivathambu
Japan plans to invest US$100 million next year
following Sri Lanka's optimistic peace proceedings, according to
the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI).
financial investment in Sri Lanka for the next financial year is
in the area of US$ 100 million and is expected to rise to US$ 500
million by 2006," said Mr. Arjuna Mahendran, chairman of BOI.
The only thing
that stands in the way of this US$ 500 million projection is the
potential failing of the peace process.
said: "Japan is keen to be involved in Sri Lanka's reconstruction
process but they have a commercial justification for being here."
to earmark US$2.86 million in Emergency Grant Aid at last month's
Oslo Donor's Meeting for Sri Lanka's Peace Process Support, might
have more to do with safeguarding future interests and facilitating
confidence among smaller Japanese businesses than with philanthropy.
There is currently
an excess of 68 Japanese companies operating in Sri Lanka but this
year we have witnessed an increase in Japanese commercial interest
starting with the large number of Japanese delegates visiting Sri
Lanka to explore investment options to Mitsui's recent revelation
of a seven-year expansion plan.
have helped pave the way for future Japanese investment in the country.
PA cracking up on peace process
By Harinda Vidanage
The main opposition People's Alliance appears to be coming
apart on the policy towards the peace process and related issues.
emerged publicly when LSSP leader Batty Weerakoon said recent statements
released in the name of the PA were really SLFP statements and not
PA statements because they did not reflect the views of the LSSP.
a senior minister in the former PA administration, said the LSSP
welcomed the LTTE's recent statement that it was ready to drop the
Eelam demand and work towards a solution based on federal status.
The LSSP view
contrasted sharply with recent statements made by PA spokesman Sarath
Amunugama and other PA frontliners taking a hardline on the peace
The Communist Party, another constituent member of the PA, also
said it did not agree with the statements being issued by Dr. Amunugama
and others in the SLFP.
A spokesman said the CP was particularly concerned about moves by
certain PA members to align with the JVP which has expressed total
and outright opposition to the peace process.
At the other
extreme, MEP leader Dinesh Gunewardene, another ally of the PA,
has said his party has its own views on the peace process.
In this scenario,
the policy-making executive committee of the PA has not met for
two months, Mr. Weerakoon complained.
But Dr. Amunugama
brushed aside the LSSP-CP complaints, saying that the SLFP constituted
95 percent of the PA and had the right to issue statements in the
name of the PA.
(See political column on page 10)