Star wars: Sri Lanka's powerful astrologers share auspicious dates | Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's government-backed traditional astrologers have failed to agree unanimously on the best date for New Year rituals, with feuding seers warning of „disaster” and rivals accusing them of misinterpreting the positions of the stars.

Astrologers are hugely influential figures consulted by the island's Buddhist and Hindu communities, and their advice on auspicious dates guides everything from weddings to business deals – and even national elections.

But a panel of 42 astrologers employed by the island's Ministry of Cultural Affairs said they were divided for the first time in deciding the best date for New Year's celebrations.

„We had a very in-depth discussion,” said New Year's Eve committee spokesperson Ananda Senaviratne. „After much deliberation, we finalized the good times by majority decision.”

The majority observed the dawn of the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year on the night of April 13.

But Roshan Sanakka disagreed, saying the timing was wrong and would lead to „disaster” for the country.

If the „official timings” are followed, Sri Lanka will „go up in flames”, he added, without elaborating.

Sri Lanka is recovering from its worst economic crisis, which led to months of street protests and forced the resignation of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July 2022.

His successor, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is widely expected to seek re-election later this year, sometime between September and October.

Almost a decade ago, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa called a snap election in January 2015 based on the advice of his personal astrologer. He lost.

In 2009, an astrologer was arrested after predicting that Mahinda Rajapaksa would be removed from the post of President and replace him as Prime Minister.

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