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SINGHARAJA - TOO DEAR TO LOSE
Nandasena Milewathanthrige

Understanding “ Singharaja ” is of great importance now, especially because it is one of the few places where the ‘Nature’ has been preserved. We know it for its lush green vegetation and its bio-diversity. The beginning of destruction can be seen linked to the introduction of plantation agriculture, which started when British brought whole of Sri Lanka under their rule. Before British, the Dutch who ruled concentrated more on spices and most of the spices collected came from the natural habitats which were used by the people in a very careful and a restricted manner.

The Sinharaja Adaviya forest, must be embedded in the national consciousness of the Sri Lanka people and should occupy a special position of importance. According to one legend the forest was royal territory belonging to the ancient Kings (Rajas) of the country and in some early colonial records the forest is referred to as the "Rajasinghe Forest".


On the Trail of the Sacred Tooth Relic…
By. Ananda Ariyarathne

Every year in the month of Esala, to coincide with the Full Moon day, a colourful pageant takes place in Kandy which has now become a significant event in the Global calendar. The exotic features that have got blended with the technological developments of mankind that have reached a simple environment like Sri Lanka have become a rare sight, which all long for and await counting days. Fascinated by this unique spectacle, people from all the corners of the Globe who can afford to travel long distances and commit a few days, throng to Kandy, the Ancient Hill capital of Lanka. When Buddhism became the state religion with King Devanampiyatissa embracing Buddhism, the whole society got affected by its influence in all spheres of life and governance.

 

 


RITIGALA - A NATURAL FORTRESS
By Lieutenant General Daya Rathnayake

 

 

The true meaning of the word “Ritigala” has not been established so far and therefore what we have are just interpretations. One interpretation is that it has taken the name from a ‘tree’ that can be found only there. It is a variety of an evergreen tree that can be seen in the middle slopes of the forest there. ‘Riti’ is a tree that (Antiaristoxicaria) grows to be over 40 m tall and its trunk is as straight as a pole. Riti is the Sinhala word for pole.

But as Ritigala is an ancient name, the word Riti could have been derived from the word ‘aritta’ meaning “safety” in ancient Pali language. While the Sinhala word “gala” means rock and it is a common word in Sinhala vocabulary. It could have been that meaning ‘safety’ that made the word Ritigala, providing shade, shelter and sanctuary to warriors as well as ascetics, has lived up to its name for over two thousand years.

 


KING ELEPHANT OF PANAMURE
By Saman Rathnayake

From the time the first elephants appeared in the land of Lanka, there would not have been any barriers that would have prevented this majestic animal from roaming at will, foraging as they moved from one feeding ground to the other. As the largest land animal with its enormous strength had no contenders who could threaten them or challenge their supremacy, in the wilderness. Being a herbivorous animal, the elephant was never a predator that lived on the flesh of other animals. Elephant was an animal that minded its own business as long as it was not threatened. One thing that is special about elephant is that it is one of the most intelligent living beings after man.

With the development of the human society and civilization, man spread and occupied land wherever he existed. Increasing numbers made them go looking for new lands and their main occupation, the agriculture, caused them to clear more and more forest land, pushing the animals deeper into the forest lands which continuously got smaller as the time went by.

Physical size of the man was never a weakness as he knew how to control what was around him. Most of the domesticated animals were wild at the beginning.

 

 


BRITISH PIONEERS IN LANKAN EDUCATION
By Ananda Dias Jayasinha


 

Sir Alexander was the 3rdChief Justice of Ceylon and was appointed to the position in 1805 and Ceylon had not completely ceded to the Crown. The interior was ruled by the last king of Ceylon. Drunkenness, misbehaviour and lack of spiritual guidance disturbed Sir Johnston. The behaviour of the Dutch, Portuguese, British soldiers and the natives following in their footsteps alarmed him. He believed that people needed spiritual guidance. In 1809, Sir Alexander Johnston, then Chief Justice of Ceylon, visited England, and when, in a conversation with Hon. William Wilberforce MP, he expressed his earnest desire to see a mission commenced in Ceylon, he was directed to the Wesleyan Methodists, as being the most likely persons to assist him effectually in the execution of his plans.As early as 1809 during the said visit to England Sir Johnston laid the foundation for the Wesleyan Methodists Mission to come to Ceylon, this was undertaken by Dr. Coke in 1814. Dr. Coke and six young Ministers—namely, the Revs. William Ault, James Lynch, George Erskine, William M. Harvard, Thomas Squance, and Benjamin Clough were appointed to undertake the Mission.

 


Glimpses of the North
After the guns fell silent
By Sugathapala Mendis

All the guns fell silent in the North of Sri Lanka where a meaningless conflict continued , a fire sparked and fanned by individuals and incidents that made the common people suffer while the politicians who were contesting each other to prove that they were right. A nightmarish time started with the Tamil youth taking up arms against the government, triggering a gun-culture that made scenes of dead bodies a common sight. The conflict escalated into a magnitude where the
armed forces of the government became weaker in the face of a variety of complications that prevented their action from bringing an end to the conflict fast while losing time and making a whole country to bleed.

 


Secrets of the beckoning beaches of the East…
By Upali O. Jayaratne

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When Tsunami struck in 2004, the whole area was devastated. Many of the buildings were destroyed then. Immediately behind the aid and relief workers and organizations reaching the area, the activities started in a limited way and with the improved security, people started returning in a small way. In the war against LTTE Terrorists, it was the eastern Region of Sri Lanka that became liberated first. When LTTE was still a fighting force, some bands of LTTE terrorists remained in the area and therefore, the normalcy did not come that
fast.
It was there from the time Eastern Seaboard was created,geologically,when the landmass of the island of Sri Lanka was formed. Located in the remote South East of Sri Lanka, close to Pottuvil it is one of the best beaches and only those who enjoy such places would know that it is among the ten (10 ) best beaches in the world. Pottuvil is a small township which is about 314 kms from Colombo and about two and a half kilometers from the famous Arugam Bay.

 
 

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