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Buddhists Across Asia commemorated the Birth, Enlightenment, and Death of Buddha in Vesak Celebrations

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Buddhist monks walk down a road asking for alms during the annual Vesak festival, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 11, 2017. VOA

Asia, March 11, 2017: Buddhists across Asia commemorated the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha in Vesak celebrations this week.

This year, the United Nations held its special Vesak Day celebrations in Sri Lanka, where a colorful lantern festival was organized with moving light displays and stalls to hand out free food and drinks to visitors.

“This has given the opportunity not only to Buddhists but all the people of the country to showcase how we celebrate Vesak in this country,” said Jagath Sumathipala, vice president of the World Buddhist Congress.

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In other countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Nepal, Buddhists lit candles and butter lamps while offering prayers at temples and shrines.

In Singapore, monks and devotees took part in a procession in which they prostrated themselves on the ground after every three steps. In India, people dipped themselves in the Ganges River. (VOA)

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Sri Lanka May Soon Introduce a GPS Tracking System to Foil Human, Drug Smuggling Via Sea

Sri Lanka to introduce GPS system to foil human, drug smuggling via sea

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Image source: youtube.com

The Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry will soon introduce a GPS tracking system and a special identity card for all fishermen across the island country to prevent human and drug smuggling via the sea, a government official has said.

Fisheries Director General Prasanna Geeganage said on Monday that drug trafficking, smuggling of illegal migrants and other illegal activities were being carried out under the guise of fishing and steps would soon be taken to tackle this issue, Xinhua news agency reported.

Following the introduction of the GPS tracking system and the identity card, all fishermen who set out to sea will be required to prove their identity by scanning their fingerprints.

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The new steps were being taken following repeated requests by Sri Lankan fishermen. Pixabay

The new steps were being taken following repeated requests by Sri Lankan fishermen, Geeganage said.

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The Sri Lankan government recently said the island country had become a transit point for major drug cartels as a consequence of the prolonged illicit activities of the Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated by government troops in 2009 following a 30-year civil conflict. (IANS)