Meth Sevana, Galle
(by Ajith Parakum Jayasinghe) On March 09, 2013, Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa inaugurated ‘Meth Sevana,’ the Cultural and Training Centre of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), in Pilana, Wanchawala in Galle.

The Head of Meth Sevana, Ven. Embilipitiye Vijitha Thero said that training programmes for bhikkus and laymen will be held at the Center. It was introduced as a leadership training institute as well. BBS announced that this academy would be developed into a full-fledged Buddhist University in the future.

The latest news which was partially reported in Lankadeepa website on May 29 said that Galle Additional Magistrate Gunendra Munasinghe had ordered BBS to evacuate the Meth Sevana Center in Galle.

The order was issued after hearing a petition by Batagoda Gamage Asanka Amarasiri. BBS secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, Embilipitiye Vijitha Thero, Vitharandeniye Nanda Thero and the Little Smiles Association, an NGO, were the defendants of the petition. 

The petitioner stated that the BBS forcibly occupied a three acre land belonged to him since December 16, 2012. He has filed the case against BBS on February 14, 2013 after complaints in police did not lead to solving the problem.. 

We were curious to know what this Little Smiles Association.

On 17 February 2002, the Little Smile Association was recognized as a non-profit NGO by the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The head office of the Association is established at Little Smile Village, Lower Ampitithanna Estate, Koslanda in Wellawaya.

The Association's objects and motives are given as follows:

The motive of the establishment of this social organisation is to work for the welfare and well being of the children and women with children who become orphans, helpless and deserted in the world due to various reasons.

Therefore this Association, as a social welfare organisation in Sri Lanka shall adopt various programmes and projects in Sri Lanka as well as over-seas, and execute and give effect to such programmes and projects.
  • Organisation and execution of various projects for the welfare of the orphans and deserted and helpless children and woman who are victimised due to various reasons in the world.
  • Establishment and execution of various programmes and projects for the welfare and well being of the children who have become orphans in Sri Lanka.
  • Operation of various programmes and projects for the welfare and well-being of the women having children and who have been deserted in Sri Lanka due to various reasons.
  • Assisting and giving support to social welfare organisations already operating in Sri Lanka.
  • Establishment and maintenance of orphanages and Childrens' homes, and also homes for the deserted and helpless woman with children in Sri Lanka.
  • Establishment and operation of institutions and operations owned by LSA and from which all profits are used solely for financing the projects and goals mentioned here under points a) through e).
  • For the orphans and deserted woman, the operation of following programmes:

    • Making avenues to receive English education.
    • Providing computer training.
    • Providing vocational training.
    • Operating a guardianship programme for the orphans.
    • Collaboration with other social organizations worldwide and with the government of Sri Lanka.
    • Involvement and intervention in affairs which promote the success of the above-mentioned activities.
The head of the Little Smiles Association is  Michael Kreitmeir, a German national who says in Facebook that he lives in Koslanda. He says that he was former Former Regisseur und Filmemacher at BR - Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Can you identify the monks in this photo which was in Little Smile Association website? 
The website of Little Smiles Association says with the above photo, "After the long journey from Koslanda on the South coast to Galle, Michael Kreitmeir prays for a good start for the new culture and meeting centre. He kneels at the little temple in front of the building, in which for many years the white Buddha from the children’s village has been more than just a symbol for the fact that mutual respect and the acceptance of different religions, races and convictions, just as it is practiced in the children’s village Mahagedara, will also become reality in the centre Meth Sevana. A few hours after this silent prayer the centre will be inaugurated."

The website of Little Smiles Association  identifies this place as Meth Sevana. But Batagoda Gamage Asanka Amarasiri who claims for the ownership of the land says that BBS named this place as Meth Sevana and alludes that it was done without his consent.

The website of the Little Smiles Association says "After purchasing the land near Pilane in 2005 there were further purchases in 2006 and 2008 and the area was thus expanded up to its current size of 2 hectares." (see this page) Then who is this Batagoda Gamage Asanka Amarasiri? Has a legally registered mon profit organization purchased land under person's names? Why, a big WHY?

Defense Ministry website says, "The Methsevana was constructed and offered to Maha Sanga by Mr. Michael J.A Kreitmeir of Germany. Mr. Kreitmeir also handed over the official documents of the property to the founder of the Buddhist Cultural Centre Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thero during the ceremony. The Buddhist cultural centre is dedicated to restore the values of Buddhism in Sri Lanka."

It seems that Little Smiles Association inaugurated the disputed center in Galle as a meeting center. Their website says, "After the end of the civil war in 2009 it became clear that it will take a long time till the deep gaps which almost three decades of separation and violence have left, will be overcome. One important prerequisite for its success is mutual understanding, not only in terms of language differences, but especially in terms of religion, ways of thinking, cultural differences. And this is why LSA builds a meeting center in Galle." Visit this page for more information on this center.

It is unclear how BBS occupied this place in a way a person who claims the ownership of the premises had to go to courts to oust them. Reportedly,  Michael Kreitmeir was also in the gathering as Defense Secretary opened the so called Cultural and Training Centre of BBS although he was not given prominence. Apparently, the BBS misled the German philanthropist who disillusioned late but hit back venomously. 

We tried to contact Little Smiles Association via its local phone number but the phone was not answered. However, it was after the office hours. You can vies contact details of the Association in this page.

Little Smile Association has raised funds for this center in Galle from various donors. (See this page) Have they informed the donors that the center will be used by an organization like BBS which is ill famous for its anti minority chauvinist stances and hate campaigns.

We found a report by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regarding arrest of this Michael Kreitmeir in 2010. Read it.AHRC says the arrest was based on fabricated charges. We couldn't find what happened to the case filed against Michael Kreitmeir.

There is lot of mysteries behind the Meth Sevana drama which should be clarified both by the BBS and Little Smile Association. 

Michael Kreitmeir
Michael Kreitmeir

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Sri Lanka's Swarnawahini TV videoed all from beginning to the end of the self-immolation attempt of a Buddhist monk near the entrance of the Buddhist Temple of Tooth of Kandy where a relic tooth of Lord Buddha is placed for worship.

The TV crew seemed of being well aware of the crime the Buddhist monk was about to commit but did not do anything to prevent it, a clear legal offense by a citizen.

The monk Bowatte Indrarathana who was earlier a Jathika Hala Urumaya (JHU) local government member of Pelmadulla Pradeshiya Sabha who lost the position due to absence. He has been an activist of other Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist movements like Sinhala Ravaya.

The monk seems an honest kind of racist. Definitely a victim of the vicious campaigns of the opportunist racist campaigns. 90% burnt, the 31 year old monk may suffer throughout his entire life mentally, if not physically but we have no other option than to wish he will live. 

Update: The monk passed away in the evening of May 25. 

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Sri Lanka which sees the rise of Buddhist extremism in recent times passed a breakthrough as a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk committed self-immolation today at Kandy city. Kandy is a sacred city of Buddhists where the sacred relics of Lord Buddha is housed in the Temple of Tooth.

The monk had told that he would commit self immolation against the slaughter of cattle.

The monk has been identified as B. Indarathana Thero who resides in a temple in Kahawatta.

The incident took place before the entrance to the Temple of Tooth.

The monk doused himself with petrol and set ablaze. Hospital sources say that the monk's body is 90% burnt and his condition is very serious. He was transferred to Colombo national hospital.

Sri Lankans eat meat since generations although the Buddhist religion the majority of them follow advocates peace on the lives of the animals also.

However,  the Buddhist extremist elements intensified the campaign against the cattle slaughter. But the same Buddhist extremists do not protest the killings and forcible disappearances of ethnic Tamils of the country. In recent months, the Muslims were also the focus of the wrath of the Buddhist extremists.

Cattle farmers who are mostly Buddhists sell the bulls and old cows for meat as an additional income since long ago.

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Researchers stretch out alongside Florida-record Burmese python. Photo courtesy of the University of Florida
Python is a harmless reptile that lives in woods especially in South Asia. But its size is so enormous that the man who is generally snake phobic may be terrified. There are lots of fiction about pythons swallowing men alive. This fiction has extended to internet graphics also.

I have lived with a python when I was in a torture center in 1989 era. The python was used to frighten the prisoners to get them to divulge information. But it was an innocent creature. Very rarely it bit like a cat when it was extremely hungry as it was not given food.

The python was kept in a box and an old prisoner was trained to feed it with eggs and meat stuffed forcibly into the mouth gaped with the use of two sticks. I think the keeper, one fine day, kept the lid of the box half open and let the creature escape.

Python is a specie under threat of extinction in Sri Lanka. It is a pity that the people tend to kill this reptile when they see it in their environment.

Today I read a story about a man being honored for killing a massive python in Florida. The serpent is called a Burmese python.

Americans, perhaps who went to war brought this specie from Asia to be kept as pet. Now they have escaped to environment and become a threat to wildlife.

In Florida, where they’ve been released as pets and escaped from wildlife facilities, there are thousands of them, mostly within the Everglades ecosystem.

As such a large and voracious invasive species, they’re a threat to native wildlife. The state would like to eradicate them, if that were possible.
Read the story.

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Sri Lanka government is in another blunder as the Sri Lanka Meteorological Department apologized for naming a cyclone after an ancient king called Mahasen.

Meteorological Department announced that the name Mahasen would not be further used for the turbulence. However, S.R. Jayasekara, a director in charge of weather forecasting defended the name pointing out that the name was suitable since cyclones rendered a service by taking away the heat from the tropical areas and causing rain to provide water for cultivation.

The officials of the Meteorological Department surrendered to the Sinhala Buddhist extremist organization Ravana Power which protested the manipulation of of the past to name this cyclone.

The secretary of the Ravana Power Ven. Ittekande Saddhathissa Thero named the use of the name as a foolish decision. He further said the organization would not oppose naming it as 'Prabakaran', the slain leader of the minority Tamil's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam rebel movement which led a three decade war.

Meanwhile, another person called Nimal Weerathunga, a Coordinating Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, has lodged has written to the Director General of the Met Department demanding a probe regarding proposing the name of the said king to the New Delhi meteorological base.

King Mahasen ruled the country during 277 - 304 AD. He is remembered as a king who built a large number of resevoires including Minneriya weva in Polonnaruwa district. He also helped immensely to the Mahayana Buddhism and built Jethawanaramaya which became the third religious center in Anuradhapura.
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As the first major blow to the mythical Mattala international airport's flight wonder, Air Arabia has cancelled Sharjah – Mattala route, reported airlineroute.net website.

The service was cancelled just 6 weeks after it became the first foreign carrier to operate the newest International airport in Sri Lanka.

The airline previously operated twice weekly services to Mattala airport.

Reservations on the airline’s website is no longer available.

Launching the service on March 18, Air Arabia said that the twice weekly service would be increased to four times weekly in future.

The airline operates nine flights a week to Katunayaka Bandaranaike International Airport from Sharjah.

As the airport built with public money borrowed at high interest rates from international finance markets is landing to its reality, now, reports say the government is taking another step towards pushing it go. It is shutting the main Katunayaka airport for several hours everyday in the guise of widening the runway and diverting the aircraft to Mattala. Let us wait and see its practicality.
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Nice story. It is an anecdote or a fable. A tongue-in-cheek analysis on South Asian politics if not world politics.

Rahul Gandhi walks into ICICI Bank to cash a cheque. As he approaches the cashier he says, "Good morning Ma'am, would you please cash this cheque for me?"

Cashier: "It would be my pleasure sir. Could you please show me your ID?"

RG: "Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn't think there was any need to. I am Vice President of the Congress Party. Future Indian PM.

Cashier: "Yes sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of imposters and forgers and requirements etc., I must insist on seeing your ID."

RG: "Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am."

Cashier: "I am sorry sir but these are the bank rules and I must follow them."

RG: "I am urging you, please, to cash this cheque."

Cashier: "Look Sir here is an example of what we can do. One day, Sachin Tendulkar came into the bank without ID. To prove he was Sachin he pulled out his bat and played a beautiful shot across the bank. With that shot we knew him to be Sachin and cashed his cheque."
"Another time, Mahesh Bhupati came in without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and played a fabulous shot when the tennis ball landed in my cup. With that shot we cashed his cheque.
So, sir what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, future indian PM, Rahul Gandhi?"

RG stands there thinking, and thinking, and finally says:
"Honestly, my mind is a total blank... There is nothing that comes to my mind. I can't think of a single thing. I have absolutely no idea what to do; I just don't have a clue".

Cashier: 'Sir, 500 or 1000 rupee notes?'
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Beware of crocodiles
Sri Lanka is a country with wonderful nature and wonderfool people. When they see a crocodile they mob and harass it finally to bind it. Photo and video journalists gather round the arrested criminal croco and photograph them to be published competitively. You also focus your mobile phone to collect a souvenir show to your friends. One may dare to sit on the back of the croco and pose for a photo.

The wildlife officials come late and the poor reptile will be dislocated from its habitat and will be carried to Who Knows Where.

There were talks the Wildlife Department would establish a crocodile park in Muthurajawela marshes situated just south of Negombo but now the talks have ebbed. Reports say the land is being grabbed.

Meanwhile, the 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN - SSC Crocodile Specialist Group which is called the World Crocodile Conference has been organized to be held in Sri Lanka from 20 to 23 of May 2013 at Goldi Sands Hotel in Negambo. According to their website, the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) is a worldwide network of biologists, wildlife managers, government officials, independent researchers, NGO representatives, farmers, traders, tanners, fashion leaders, and private companies actively involved in the conservation of the world's 23 living species of alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials in the wild.

Sri Lanka is a unique location for the conference since there are nearly 75 protected areas under the Department of Wildlife Conservation in the country which covers approximately 13% of the country’s land area.

Around 250 not crocodiles but crocodile experts, specialists, biologists, independent researchers, government officials and a host of other attendees are expected to be present at the conference. This conference is aimed to highlight the significance of working to protect the crocodile species and discuss about crocodile related ideologies, environmental issues and conservation principles.
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Sri Lanka Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathna said in the parliament that the arrest of former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Sally was made under section 120 of Penal Code of Sri Lanka.

This is the said section 120 of the Penal Code:

Whoever by words, either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs; or by visible representations, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite feelings of disaffection to the Queen or Her Government in Ceylon, or excites or attempts to excite hatred to or contempt of the administration of justice, or excites or attempts to excite the Queen subjects to procure, otherwise than by lawful means, the alteration of any matter by law established, or attempts to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the Queens subjects, or to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of such People, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

This is the English translation of the Tamil written interview which published in Vikatan website of India:

(Saturday, 20 April 2013, 06:50 AM GMT) (VIKETAN)
We met the participant at the seminar on  ‘The Right of Sri Lankan Tamils’ organized by the Popular Front of India, in Chennai.
Q:  There is news that attack against Muslims has started in Sri Lanka?
A:  The first attack in Sri Lanka was against Muslims in the riots of 1915 between Sinhalese and Muslims.
Recently in 2011, after the war with the Tigers, a Dharga in Anuradhapura was demolished  by Buddhist monks in the presence of the police.
In 2012 a mosque in Dambulla was demolished.  By demolishing over 10 mosques and madrasas, the Sinhalese have started attacking the Muslims openly.
No one pays any attention to the fact that soldiers are harassing Muslim women wearing the burqua.
Their intentions can be gauged from the statement of the Rajapakse-supporting Sinhala party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya, that a war like that of  1915 is unavoidable.
As a first step to this war, the issue of Halal certification has been banned in Sri Lanka.
If so, there will be no alternative to taking up arms.  For saying this, the The Bodu Bala Sena has said that I should be arrested.
Q:  What actions have you taken to ensure the safety of the Muslims?
A: When America brought forward the resolution on Sri Lanka, I submitted an appeal that the safety of the minority Tamils, Muslims and Christians should be also assured.
Further, we requested the Ambassadors of 24 countries, including those of 8 Muslim countries supportive of Sri Lanka and demanded that they speak on behalf of  the minorities.
We are trying to bring this issue to the attention of the world community.
Q:  There was information before that the Tamils and Muslims were alienated. How is the situation now?
A: The Muslims were driven out of the territory under Tiger control before. From then the Muslim organizations started to differ.  The Tigers should not have done that. If they had embraced the Muslims, the situation could have developed differently. Prabhaharan missed several opportunities.  This has been beneficial only to the Rajapaksa family.
 Q:  The actions (activities) of Rajapaksa?
A:  His only proclamation is that he has won against the Tigers.   The Rajapaksa family which was without anything is today being transformed into the most prosperous family in Asia.
His relatives who were working abroad in super markets and petrol stations are ministers today.
They are travelling to neighbouring countries for discussions. They have captured the media.   Only the Rajapaksa family members are at the head of all governmental agencies.
Gotabaya is guiding the Bodu Bala Sena with the intention of taking the message amongst the Sinhala people that Rajapaksa is the only soldier (Hero) for the Sinhalese.
They think the Rajapaksa Senior is the president and Gotabaya, Basil and Namal are also presidents.  Confiscating people’s properties is Namal Rajapaksa’s occupation.
They divided various occupations among themselves: taking commissions on government tenders is Basil’s share and changing Sri Lanka into a Buddhist country is Gotabaya’s share.
It is on the basis of this confidence that he has changed the rule that one person can be president for only two terms, to that where  one can be president any number of times.
Presidential elections can be held now only once in four years, but the president is engaged in actions to make it possible to hold elections every three years.
Because his party has the majority now, he plans to hold the presidential election again, win and then conduct  the general elections.
However, Tamils and Muslims will not vote for Rajapaksa. He cannot win the confidence of these communities ever.
 (extracted from   Colombo Telegraph)
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Popular Sri Lankan actor Ranjan Ramanayaka delivered an excellent speech in the parliament on May 07, 2013.

I do not consider Ramanayaka as a worthy actor but his political carrier has some value due to his long standing struggle for the rights of the Sri Lankan expatriate workers in Middle east.

Addressing the debate on the no-confidence motion against Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion Dilan Perera over the government's failure to save the life of housemaid Rizana Nafeek, Ramanayaka said that all who voted in the parliament in favor of the government were guilty of this assassination.

Rizana Nafeek was beheaded by Saudi government for an alleged killing of an infant she was looking after there after migrating illegally under a forged passport while being an underage girl of 17. But the Saudi government claimed that Rizana was an adult according to the passport issued by Sri Lanka government.

The ruling coalition signal post MPs defeated the no-confidence motion. Ramanayaka said that all who voted in favor of the motion had hand in the murder.

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A news about a revolutionary 3D printed hand gun which you can download and get printed using a 3D printer and fire to cause destruction has made a controversy in international news.

What is this 3D printing?

3D printing is is the creation of solid objects out of plastic or soft metals.

A 3D printer prints a design created in sophisticated 3D modeling software. It works like a common ink jet printer. The melted plastic (or the metal in advanced printers) prints in layers as thin as 100 microns (.1 mm) slowly to make the 3D object.

Watch how a 3D print is made in this video:

This is a 3D printed toy aeroplane. Printing is done part by part and then assembled.

MakerBot and some other companies sell 3D printers that are of the size little bigger than the normal desktop prnter. Two such models are the Replicator 2 ($2,200), which can construct objects as large as 11 x 6 x 6 inches, and the Replicator 2X "experimental" 3D printer ($2,800, pictured above), which can create objects 9.5 x 6 x 6 inches.

The gun Liberator is also printed part by part and assembled. It is fired and tested for robustness. It may be highly dangerous production due to its highly individualized production technology.

The first 3D printed gun has been produced by Defense Distributed headed by a law student 25-year old law student, Cody Wilson.  His website states that his goal is to “produce and publish a file for a completely printable gun.”

Availability of a blueprint of the gun online will make it simple for those without expertise to print a gun.

We are entering a new gun age, aren't we? 

cody wilson holding a gun
Cody Wilson, 25-year old 'father' of printable gun age
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Azath Sally, a leader of a small Muslim party of Sri Lanka has been arrested. He is accused of saying that the Muslim youth must take up arms, according to pro-Sinhala media.

Sally is a man who broke away from the regime due to personal dissatisfaction over power. People like him will have to go to jail to serve further to the regime to terrify others who want to be too brave to break away.

He is near the threshold of being jailed under draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act while the Buddhist monks and others who broke Muslim shops in public are enjoying immunity publicly.

Perhaps, this may be another chance for Sally to build up the identity as the saviour of Muslims, an identity he is trying hard to achieve. Few months in jail will pay him back with power which he will be able to use to bargain with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, United National Party or the regime itself, who knows. He is a substantial opportunist.

Meanwhile, the major Muslim party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress sources say that the party supreme committee meeting that will be held on May 07 would be a decisive one since a powerful group of people's representatives of the party are forcing the SLMC leadership to leave the government coalition.

A breakaway may cause a sever imbalance of power in the Eastern Provincial Council.

However, another group of people's representatives say that the SLMC must be patient and stay in the government coalition further, the party sources say.

We predict that the party will stay with the regime. Whatever difficulty may the Muslims in the country face, the bigwig agents of the government in the party will do their duty of fastening the outfit to the regime. Expect a severe warning! False. 
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I found this banner shared by one of the students of my school. He is a handsome, pleasant kid of around 18 years of age who belongs to the Sinhala community.

This boy is a prefect of the school and also a scout of a highest medal.

He is a very polite, decent and lovable guy. In the multi cultural school he learns, I have never seen him behaving disrespectfully to the teachers or the students that belong to other communities.

He is a friend in my Facebook and I have observed that the majority things hat he shares there are extremely racist especially against Muslims.

I once invited him to have a chat over a cup of tea regarding our opinions on ethnic relations which are worlds apart. He readily accepted the invitation to come to my house but we both were busy in the past weeks, he getting ready to sit for the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) examination in August in science stream.

"I know your views Sir, but it doesn't matter, let us talk," I remember he said.

Yesterday, he had shared this banner.  I still like him very much but I can't understand what has happened to boys like him.

Thirty years back, when I was in his age, I too was extremist.But if there was Facebook I might have promoted Che, Bob Marley, Marx, Engels, Lenin etc.

But he is promoting Hitler. I don't know what to say.

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