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PMD issues clarification on Kurundi Viharaya lands

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The President’s Media Division has issued a clarification with regard to a letter by Ven. Dr.  Ellawala Medhananda Thera, who had written to the President over the lands around the Kurundi Viharaya.

The full statement of the PMD is as follows : 

In a letter, Ven. Dr.  Ellawala Medhananda Thera conveyed that lands not belonging to the Kurundi Viharaya were being instructed to be transferred to the public, despite the presence of scattered ruins of Buddhist monasteries in various locations around the temple. 

He argued that it would be inappropriate to distribute these lands and highlighted instances where the acquisition of land had been done through coercion. Consequently, he asserted that the ownership of these lands should not be transferred.

In response to Dr. Medhananda’s letter, the President’s Secretary, Mr. Saman Ekanayake, sent a clarifying letter dated June 15, 2023. The letter emphasized that Kurundi Viharaya holds significant archaeological value for Sri Lankans and reassured that no decision had been made to transfer government lands associated with the temple to any other party. As a resolution to land-related issues in the North and East regions, it was suggested that lands categorized as forests and wildlife zones prior to 1985 should continue to be protected.

Furthermore, the letter addressed the confusion created by media reports, which erroneously mixed up discussions regarding the ruins of Kurundi Vihara and the Tiriya area. It stated that an investigation had been initiated concerning certain paddy lands surrounding Kurundi Viharaya, and a report would be submitted to the District Secretary of Mullaitivu. The Director General of Archaeology was also notified about this through the President’s Secretary’s letter. Additionally, the government’s commitment to identifying and safeguarding sites and lands of archaeological significance under the jurisdiction of the district secretary was reiterated.

The President’s Secretary also mentioned in the letter to Archaeologist Dr. Ellawala Medhananda Thera that the government sought the assistance of Professor Robin Cunningham, known for his excavation work at the Lumbini Maya Devi Temple in Nepal. The plan was to conduct excavations around the Mahaviharaya and prioritize the reopening of the Mahavihara University. These intentions were conveyed to Dr. Medhananda Thera for his awareness.

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Letter sent to President over Kurundurmalai lands

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Postage stamp to be increased to Rs. 100 in July

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A proposal has been made to increase the price of an ordinary postage stamp to Rs. 100 by July, Mass Media Ministry Secretary Anusha Palpita said.

He told the Daily Mirror that the Postal Department is currently incurring an annual loss of Rs. 7,000 million.

“Last year, the loss was reduced to Rs. 3,200 million. However, with a salary increase for postal employees costing Rs. 2,800 million this year, the Postal Department’s loss will rise again to Rs. 7,000 million.” he said.

“If the losses continue to increase, it might reach Rs. 5 billion by 2025. Less than 1.5 million people use postage stamps, yet the entire country bears the burden of the Postal Department’s losses,” he added.

The price of a stamp was Rs. 15 until 2022, and the current price is Rs. 50.

“We are awaiting approval from the Treasury to raise the price of a postage stamp. This decision is necessary due to the ongoing losses of the Postal Department,” Palpita said.

(dailymirror.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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SL health officials urge public not to panic over flesh-eating bacteria

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Sri Lankan health authorities have urged the public not to panic about the spread of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), or commonly known as ‘flesh-eating bacteria’.

Surging numbers of STSS cases across Japan have raised alarm globally.

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NDU delegation from China, visits Navy HQ (Pics)

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A National Defence University (NDU) delegation from the People’s Republic of China, currently in Sri Lanka as part of their overseas study tour, visited the Navy Headquarters yesterday (June 18). 

During this visit, the members of the delegation called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera.

The NDU delegation, which comprised 41 student officers, was led by Rear Admiral Hu Gangfeng. Meanwhile, the delegation will be in Sri Lanka from 16th to 19th June.

During their official interaction, Rear Admiral Hu Gangfeng exchanged several views with Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera on several matters of mutual interests. The occasion culminated with an exchange of mementoes, signifying the importance of the occasion.

In addition, the delegation members took part in a briefing by the Commander of the Navy who outlined the roles and responsibilities of the Sri Lanka Navy. The Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake, Director General Operation, Rear Admiral Nishantha Peiris, Director General Training, Rear Admiral Buddhika Liyanagamage, Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Kosala Warnakulasooriya and Defence Attaché of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombo, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo were also present on this occasion.

(Source / Pics : navy.lk)

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