Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sri Lanka Holidays; Biodiversity Hotspot

Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

Faced with tremendous population pressure, the forests of the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka have been dramatically impacted by the demands for timber and agricultural land. Remaining forests of the Western Ghats are heavily fragmented; in Sri Lanka, only 1.5 percent of the original forest remains. Population levels are also applying increased stress on the fringes of protected areas where many farms, loggers, and poachers use the resources illegally. Due in part to the varying effect of the yearly monsoons and the high mountain regions, this hotspot is home to a rich endemic assemblage of plants, reptiles, and amphibians. Sir Lanka alone may be home to as many as 140 endemic species of amphibians. The region also houses important populations of Asian elephants, Indian tigers, and the Endangered lion-tailed macaque. Freshwater fish endemism is extremely high as well, with over 140 native species.
overview The Western Ghats of southwestern India and the highlands of southwestern Sri Lanka, separated by 400 kilometers, are strikingly similar in their geology, climate and evolutionary history. The Western Ghats, known locally as the Sahyadri Hills, are formed by the Malabar Plains and the chain of mountains running parallel to India's western coast, about 30 to 50 kilometers inland. They cover an area of about 160,000 km² and stretch for 1,600 kilometers from the country's southern tip to Gujarat in the north, interrupted only by the 30 kilometers Palghat Gap. Sri Lanka is a continental island separated from southern India by the 20-meter-deep Palk Strait. The island, some 67,654 km² in size, has been repeatedly connected with India between successive interglacials, most recently until about 7,000 years ago by a land bridge up to about 140 kilometers wide. The Western Ghats mediates the rainfall regime of peninsular India by intercepting the southwestern monsoon winds. The western slopes of the mountains experience heavy annual rainfall (with 80 percent of it falling during the southwest monsoon from June to September), while the eastern slopes are drier; rainfall also decreases from south to north. Dozens of rivers originate in these mountains, including the peninsula’s three major eastward-flowing rivers. Thus, they are important sources of drinking water, irrigation, and power. The wide variation of rainfall patterns in the Western Ghats, coupled with the region’s complex geography, produces a great variety of vegetation types. These include scrub forests in the low-lying rainshadow areas and the plains, deciduous and tropical rainforests up to about 1,500 meters, and a unique mosaic of montane forests and rolling grasslands above 1,500 meters. Precipitation across Sri Lanka is dependent on monsoonal winds, resulting in much of the island experiencing relatively low rainfall (less than 2,000 millimeters per year), except for the south-western “wet zone” quarter, where precipitation ranges to as much as 5,000 millimeters per year. While dry evergreen forests occupy almost the entirety of the “dry zone,” dipterocarp-dominated rainforests dominate the lowlands of the wet zone, and some 220 km² of tropical montane cloud forest still persist in the central hills, which rise to a maximum altitude of 2,524 meters.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Biodiversity Hotspots: Part 3. July 10th, 2008 | Environment, Natural Wonders

Western Ghats and Sri Lanka (the Ghats are in Southern India).

The region harbors important populations of Asian elephants, Indian tigers, and the Endangered lion-tailed macaque. Sri Lanka is home to as many as 140 endemic species of amphibians. Freshwater fish endemism is extremely high, with over 140 native species. The region is faced with a tremendous population pressure.

East Melanesian Islands (Bismarck and Admiralty Islands, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of Vanuatu). Excessive logging, mining, and unsustainable farming practices have accelerated habitat loss in these islands, threatening the survival of one of the most remarkable number of endemic species — 3,000 unique species of plants, shrubs, and trees. Faunal diversity isn’t far behind, led by the majestic Solomon sea-eagle and more than a dozen threatened species of flying fox (large fruit-eating bats).

Himalaya (Northern Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and the Northwestern and Northeastern states of India). The hotspot is home to numerous large birds and mammals, including vultures, tigers, elephants, rhinos and wild water buffalo.

Indo-Burma (Eastern Bangladesh, Northeastern India, Myanmar, part of Yunnan Province in China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and part of Peninsular Malaysia). Covering 2 million square kilometers (772,204.317 square miles) of tropical Asia, this immense treasure trove of biodiversity is yet to divulged a lot of secrets. Six large mammal species have been discovered in the last 12 years: the large-antlered muntjac, the Annamite muntjac, the grey-shanked douc, the Annamite striped rabbit, the leaf deer, and the saola. Bird life is also incredibly diverse, holding almost 1,300 different bird species. Sadly, these documented species and possibly a host of others still waiting to be discovered are in danger of being killed-off due to exploitation and habitat loss.

Japan. When we talk about this country, images of bullet-trains, cars, high rises, and other accouterments of modern technology usually comes to mind. However, the islands isolation has harbored Critically Endangered endemic species like the Okinawa woodpecker and the Japanese macaque (snow monkey). There are 46 endemic mammals.

Mountains of Southwest China (Southwest China and a tiny part of Myanmar). These mountains are host to different ecosystems, including the most endemic-rich temperate flora in the whole world. The golden monkey, giant panda, red panda, and a number of pheasants are among the threatened species endemic to this hot spot. Primary threats include Illegal hunting, overgrazing and firewood collection.

New Caledonia (Neighbor of Vanuatu). This small island (smallest of the hot spots) is home to five (5) endemic plant families, containing nearly 2/3 of the world’s Araucaria species, all endemic. Nickel mining, forest destruction, and invasive species threaten it’s biodiversity.

New Zealand. This country is home to a remarkable number of endemic species. None of its mammals, amphibians, or reptiles are found anywhere else in the world. In 700 years of colonization, 50 bird species have gone extinct.

Polynesia-Micronesia. 4,500 islands scattered across the Southern Pacific ocean, it is the epicenter of the Globe extinction crisis. From the time Europeans arrived there 200 years ago, 25 bird species were eradicated from the face of the Earth. The spectacular endemic honey creepers and other forest birds of the Hawaiian Islands are among those that are seriously threatened but still surviving in this hot spot.

Southwest Australia. This hots pot is characterized by high endemism among plants and reptiles.The primary cause of habitat loss in the region has been agricultural expansion, aggravated by extensive fertilizer use. Introduced species like foxes and cats threatened the local fauna.

Sundaland (Southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Western half of Indonesia, and the Nicobar Islands). Only one word can describe the biodiversity of this hot spot, spectacular. The better known of its fauna are all in danger of being wiped-out, led by the orangutang (man of the forest) and 2 species of Southeast Asian rhinoceros. Rubber plantations, oil palm plantations, and pulp production are 3 of the most threatening forces facing biodiversity in the Sundaland Hot spot.

Wallacea (central islands of Indonesia east of Java, Bali, and Borneo, and west of the province of New Guinea and Timor Leste). Flora and fauna species in this hot spot is so diverse, every island needs a Protected Area to safeguard its own species diversity. It is 2nd only to the Tropical Andes for bird endemism but also covers a relatively smaller area. It is threatened by a government-sponsored transmigration program, which aims to move people from urban areas into sparsely populated ones.

The Philippines . This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands is acknowledge as one of the word’s most biologically diverse countries. There are 6,000 plant and numerous animal species. Detailing the threatened and endangered species found in this country will take up one long article. Ironically, it is also one the most endangered hot spots with logging, farming, and population growth relentlessly pushing countless species to the verge of extinction.So that’s 34 remaining biodiversity hots pots. Thirty-four regions of the Earth where most living species of this planet are concentrated. Will that number decrease or remain constant? It depends upon us humans, I guess.

Monday, June 30, 2008

SRI LANKA HOLIDAYS: NGO Conspiracy in Sri Lanka


Following is an extract from the article titled 'NGO conspiracy against religious milieu in Sri Lanka' written by W. T. A. Leslie Fernanado, a former High Court Judge & Vice President of the Newman Society Alumni Association. Sunday Obesrver, Sri Lanka, 29th June 2008

It is one thing for people of different faiths to work together for the common good while maintaining their religious identity. We could extend our goodwill for the religious activities of the adherents of other religions. Catholics organising Dansalas in church premises for Vesak should be appreciated. But we ought to know where to draw the line.

Once Prince Siddhartha walking on lotus flowers soon after birth was depicted in the premises of a church. In another year a Buddhist Bhikkhu preached Bana for Vesak in a Catholic church. The following year a statue of the Buddha was placed in the same church premises and a pandal was erected. There had been Vesak Bhakthi Gee in church premises as well. In some Catholic churches Vesak lanterns are hung and illuminated.

The church is a place consecrated to God. There is Holy Eucharist in the church and we Catholics firmly believe that God is present there. According to Buddhism, the Buddha is not a God but an enlightened human being. Paying homage to a human being in churches would amount to sacrilege and a big joke as well. Recently celebrating Vesak in churches was criticized in a popular column in a Sinhala Sunday journal.This type of deception would demean Christianity and would arouse the suspicion of intelligent Buddhists. It would confuse the young in their formative years and would mislead the ignorant.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sri Lanka Holidays Best Beaches Turtles

We reveal for you to revel: the right stuff
We reveal for you to revel: our island, our nation & our faith will prevail

Riolta Lanka Holidays (Pvt.) Ltd., Sri Lanka
Website: OR

Having reached the top of the beach, the turtle then spend about another 45 minutes digging an enormous hole. Silence of the midnight is broken by periodic thrashing & sound of great clouds of sand being scuffed up. As the turtle begins to lay eggs, we can get close to watch,
Click here to read the whole article

Sri Lanka Holidays Turtles

Sea turtle viewing, cave swimming on green list Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- With more travellers expected to go green on their vacations next year, online travel community IgoUgo, owned by Travelocity, has come up with its top 10 eco-friendly destinations. The list is based on recommendations from IgoUgo editors who reviewed the journals by some of its 350,000 members.

1. Buck Island Reef National Monument - St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

The reef surrounding Buck Island was named first underwater national U.S. monument in 1961, which has resulted in an ecosystem so thriving that 30,000 visitors a year flock to see it.

It's isn't easy being green. Just ask the leaf frogs in Costa Rica.View Larger Image View Larger Image

It's isn't easy being green. Just ask the leaf frogs in Costa Rica.

2. Sea Turtle Watching in Rekawa - Rekawa, Sri Lanka

Rekawa, is Sri Lanka's most popular beach for nesting sea turtles. Five of the seven species of sea turtle come to nest here.

3. Napo Wildlife Centre - Ecuador

Located inside Yasuni National Park, the new Napo Wildlife Centre is a co-operative venture with the local Indians.

4. Artisans D'Angkor Silk Farm - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Artisans D'Angkor is a state-run organization that promotes fair trade and sustainable development for Cambodians.

5. Celestun Biosphere Reserve - Yucatan, Mexico

Flat-bottomed boats take visitors into the lagoon where cormorants, egrets and herons can be seen along the way.

6. Rainforest Hike to Middleham Falls and Ti Tou Gorge with Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours - Dominica

The Ti Tou Gorge, a cave-like river with a waterfall at one end, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; there's nothing like swimming upstream in a dark cave.

7. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge - Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska

Owner Keith Iverson has built wood cabins along the shore of Sadie Cove with a wharf over the water.

8. Volcano Trekking at Gunung Batur - Gunung Batur, Bali

Gunung Batur is revered as the second holiest mountain in Bali. The volcano is still active and smoke can be seen seeping from its main crater.

9. Strokkur Geyser - Geysir Centre, Iceland

This is the setting for Strokkur, the most active geyser at Geysir. It oozes up into a turquoise dome, before bursting into life as a 10-metre high jet of water.

10. Canopy Tour - Quepos, Costa Rica

A forest-canopy tour that can include up-close views of orchids in bloom and toucans sitting in the trees.

The Vancouver Sun, Canada 8th January 2008

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sri Lanka's non-stop epic

The Mahavamsa or Great Chronicle, Sri Lanka's non-stop epic
The oldest, continuously recorded history in the world is still being continued.

B. Upul N. Peiris ( bunpeiris ), Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 30th Dec 2007

“Do thou, O lotus-hued One, protect with zeal Prince Vijaya & his followers, & the Doctrine that is to endure in Lanka for full five thousand years.” Mahavamsa

Sri Lanka, Sinhalese & Buddhism (543 BC- 2007 AD = 2550 years). Our nation will last for another 2450 years.

1815-1948 "The Sinhalese voluntarily surrendered their island to the British Sovereign with full reservation of their rights & liberties. They may thus claim to be one of the few ancient races of the world who have not been conquered."
(Sketches of Ceylon History by Sri Lankan-then called Ceylonese-Tamil scholar Ponnambalam Arunchalam, 1906)

Click here to read the whole article

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka Holidays
Hydraulic Engineering vs. Water & Soil Conservation Ecosystems in Sri Lanka Part 1
Ancient Sinhalese of Sri Lanka, the protectors of United Biology

Following is an extract from an article by the illustrious D. L. O. Mendis

1. Water
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology); inanimate, active
Ecosystems perspective – (Soft technology): animate, passive

2. Small tank
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): inefficient, early stage in evolution & development to be submerged by large reservoir built later
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): micro water & soil conservation ecosystem

3. Large reservoir
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): efficient system in combination with channel distribution irrigation system
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): main item in macrowater & soil conservation eco-system, with micro water & soil conservation eco systems in command area

4. Diversion channel
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): built to argument large reservoir-last stage in development of irrigated agriculture system
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): earliest stage in irrigated agriculture & evolution & development of water & soil conservation ecosystems

5. Vetiya
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): abandoned small tank
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): deflection structure-micro water & soil conservation ecosystem; maintains water table

6. Downstream development area
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): cleared of all vegetation to lay out channel irrigation system
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): must be designed as a series of micro water & soil conservation ecosystems, including forest areas

7. Forest areas
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): limited to catchment area
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): not only in catchment area-should be interspersed with fields in development areas for better nutrient flows

End of the extract from an article by the illustrious D. L. O. Mendis

8. Objective or Focus
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): Water per se
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): Water for People & nature

9. Paradigm
Hydraulic engineering perspective – (Hard Technology): Brohier’s four stage hypothesis (1956); republished by Joseph Needham (1971)
Ecosystems perspective (Soft technology): D. L. O. Mendis’ seven stage-hypotheses (1983)

For Part 2 click here

Today around 12,000 ancient small dams & 320 ancient large dams together with thousands of man-made lakes dot the lowlands, with over 10,000 reservoirs in the Northern Province alone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sri Lanka Holidays

Sri Lanka 543 BC
B. Upul N. Peiris (bunpeiris) of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

QBOOK Offered by: G. & J. Chesters - Book number: 83983
The Revolt in the Temple.
Composed to Commemorate 2500 Years of the Land, the Race and the Faith

By D.C. Wijayawardhana,
Colombo: Sinha Publications, 1st edn, 1953**

Following is an excerpt from chapter 1 of above mentioned rare book
This copy of mine signed B. Donald B. Peiris 1967 belonged to my father.
B. Upul N. Peiris (bunpeiris) of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

The Wheel set in Motion

(1) The Birth of a Nation

Patitthissati devinda
Lankayam mama Sasanam
Tasma saparivararm tam
Rakkha Lankam ca Sadhukam

One of the greatest migrations in Indian history, most far reaching in its shaping-power on the fortunes of this country, took place when Vijaya & his followers landed in Lanka in 543 B.C.

In less than four generations, barren wastes were turned into fruitfulness by thousands of immigrants by thousands of immigrants from Northern India. Thousands of them came, ready for the day they landed on these shores to direct their strength to the development of the newly established State.

Most of these people were Sinhalese in heart & mind before they left their motherland. They brought with them, within them, rather, the ripened fruit of centuries of civilization, literature & art, poetry & music; & Aryan culture was bodily transported to create & enrich the virgin civilization of Lanka. These Aryans dotted the country with settlements of farmers. They turned their industrial genius to the founding of diversified industries, the building of cities, & the construction of wonderful irrigation works.

They fused easily & readily with those who had longer traditions than theirs of life in Ceylon. The mingling of these two streams of tradition & achievement soon created a social civilization which, almost from its inception, made a steady advance.

The stage was thus set for the greatest & grandest event that ever happened in this country-the introduction of Buddhism into Ceylon.

For a comprehensive understanding of this epoch-making event in the history of our country, it is necessary to go back to the very times of the active missionary period of the Master Himself.

The Buddha had blessed this island with three visits. On his first visit, on the full-moon day of Duruthu (January), nine months after He had reached Buddhahood, He took steps to ensure that the island would become the scene of great civilization.

And so it came to pass that, when, after forty-five years of toil for the welfare of the world, the Buddha, on the day of His passing away, lay on the bed spread for Him in the pleasure-garden of the Mallawa Princes in the city of Kusinara in India, from amongst the gods of the ten thousand world systems gathered there, the Master addresses Himself to Sakra (Indra), who stood near:

“My doctrine, O Sakra, will eventually be established in the Island of Lanka; & on this day, Vijaya, eldest son of Sinha Bahu, King of Sinhapura in the Lala country, lands there with seven hundred followers, & will assume the sovereignty there. Do Thou, therefore, guard well the Prince & his train & the island of Lanka.”

On receiving the Buddha’s command, Sakra summoned Vshnu;

“Do thou, O Lotus-hued one, protect with zeal Prince Vijaya & his followers & the Doctrine that is to endure in Lanka for full five thousand years.”

The command of the Master induced Vishnu to make himself responsible for the welfare of this Island in general, & of Buddhism in particular, for the ensuing five thousand years. And Vishnu, the more effectively to discharge his duty & responsibility, took under his protection a vessel that was at the moment drifting off the coast of Ceylon.

Thus did it happen that, on the very day the Lord died at Kusinara, Vijaya of the Solar race & his band of seven hundred followers of Sinhapura, in pursuance of the design of the Master, & of the gods, landed in Ceylon & so helped to found in Lanka what thereafter came to be known as the Sinhalese race.

The birth of the Sinhalese race would thus seem to have been, not a mere chance, not an accidental occurrence, but a pre-destined event of high import & purpose. The nation seemed designed, as it were, from its rise, primarily to carry aloft for fifty centuries the Torch that was lit by the great World-Mentor twenty-five centuries ago.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sri Lanka Holidays: Total Holiday Experience (THE) - Part 1

Sri Lanka Holidays: Total HolidayExperience (THE) - Part 1

Riolta Lanka Holidays: High Value, High Definition Holidays

Sri Lanka, the Land of Delights

By B. Upul N. Peiris (

In the backdrop of Total Holiday Experience (THE) Sri Lanka Holidays, the underdeveloped island of Sri Lanka is the least promoted Asian tourist destination of the world. Arthur C. Clarke once described Sri Lanka India without hassle”

Explaining the comparison to India

Firstly, Sri Lanka is an Eastern Destination anchored to 2550 years of unbroken recorded history, with seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including whole ancient cities of outstanding value to humanity. Here is an ancient Island with more than a couple of millennium of historical & cultural affinity, love & hate with the Indian sub continent- fons et origo (the source & origin).

Secondly, the islands being small (65,525 sq. km) without vast distances to travel one could easily get to the attractions, important sites within few hours drive. That is a luxury that wouldn’t be afforded in India given the geographical size of the subcontinent. To say that again, in Sri Lanka, there is no hassle at all in relation to distances from any of the numerous tourist attractions of the island to the other, no matter the diversity of the attractions: Beach, Soft Adventure, Cultural, Nature, Wild life, Bird life, Marine, Golf, Eco Luxury Hotels & Botanical Gardens or Unique.

Supplementing the quick-fire slogan

Neither in the lands of their (i.e. of the Indo-Aryan settlers) origin nor in South India did there develop an irrigation system of the magnitude or the complexity of that which the Sinhalese afterwards constructed in Ceylon; nothing comparable & contemporaneous (i.e.1st century A. D. - 12th centaury A. D.) with the ancient dam, canal & tank system of Ceylon, mingling the water of rivers flowing in different directions is known in continental India"
(A Short Account of the History of Irrigation Works, C. W. Nicholas, JRASCB 1960, 43-69)

It is well-known fact that for hardly any part of the continent of India is there such an uninterrupted historical tradition as for the island of Ceylon. This tradition up to the year A.D.362 is contained in the two Pali chronicles, the Dipavansa & the Mahavansa, but the Mahavansa was continued later on up to the eighteenth century, by the diverse authors at diverse times, so that now it comprises the whole history of the island, from the first immigration of the Aryans under Vijaya till the arrival of English.

Prof. Wilhelm Geiger, Munich, August 1932

Least promoted Asian tourist destination of the world.

For decades India has been among the top ten travel destinations of the world. The fact Sri Lanka has never been anywhere near the top ten, could only be construed as pathetic promotion of the island as a tourist destination during the period since independence in 1948 to date. The failure in promotion has been at once a crime & sin of the combination of indifference of successive governments of Sri Lanka, rigidity of bureaucracy of the state, lack of imagination of the citizens & lack of orchestrated effort by the private sector engaged in the business of tourism & hospitality.

Sri Lanka is nothing less than the Total Holiday Experience

Top Ten Aspects of a Total Holiday Experience

1. Aspect of sanctuary
2. Aspect of comfort

3. Aspect of diversity of terrain
4. Aspect of diversified climate & cultivation

5. Aspect of diversity of ecological system
6. Aspect of biodiversity
7. Aspect of conservation of water
8. Aspect of conservation of wildlife
9. Aspect of conservation of enriching culture
10. Aspect of unique attractions

For part 2 click here

Sunday, December 2, 2007

“The Land of Delights”, Sri Lanka

An excerpt from
, Ancient & ModernA general description of the island, historical, physical, statistical
By An officer, late of the Ceylon Rifles

: Chapman & Hall, 193, Piccadill6 1876
Excerpt 1 from Chapter 1 of above mentioned work

Ancient Renown of Ceylon

Few countries have had a more ancient or extended renown than island of Ceylon, of whose Elysian charms ancients & moderns, Europeans & Asiatics, have alike written in terms of delight. From the earliest times a haze of romance has been thrown around it in the legends of the Hindus as the scene of the “Ramayana” one of the oldest epic poems in existence, which describes a war famous in the East as that of Troy in the West.

To the Greeks & Romans it was known as the mother of the most stately of elephants, the land of the sapphire & the hyacinth, the ruby & the pearl; an island, according to Plinny, about which many fabulous stories were circulated. The Chinese called it "the island of gems”, the Hindu poets “the pearl on the brow of India”, & the Persiansthe island of rubies.” To the natives of the burning sands of Arabia, the arid & stifling coasts of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, & many parts of India, the aspect of Ceylon as it rises from the sea-its lofty mountains & shores clothed to the water’s edge with the brilliant & luxuriant vegetation of the tropics-must have been a delightful change.

Persian writers dazzle the reader’s imagination with accounts of its productions, & rave of the delights of Serendib, where Adam & Eve consoled themselves for the loss of Paradise- a land flowing with milk & honey compared to the inhospitable & barren mountains of Persia.

Wassaf, a Persian poet, says it was so arranged by the Almighty, in order to break the force of a sudden change from the best to the worst; because if Adam had been expelled from Eden to a bad climate, it would have been the death of him.

The Mohammedans have many versions concerning the expulsion of our first parents from Eden. One legend states, that when they were cast down from paradise, Adam fell on the island of Ceylon, & Eve near Jeddah, the port of Mecca; after a separation of two hundred years, Adam was conducted by the angel Gabriel to a mountain near Mecca, where he found his wife, thence called Arafat, & that they afterwards retired to Ceylon; others say Adam fell on the peak, & remained standing on one log doing penance for a number of years. (Note Sale’s Koran, ch, ii.) Some say when the expulsion took place Iblis, or Satan, was sent to Moultan, the serpent to Ispahan, Adam to Ceylon, & Eve to Jeddah. This is again varied by including the peacock, which was expelled on account of its pride in its splendid plumage, & sent to Hindustan. It is uncertain whether the idea of placing Adam in Ceylon originated with the Mohammedans or Christians; perhaps the earliest mention of its found in Eutychius, Patriarch of Alexandria, AD. 864
In succeeding ages writers & travelers from all climes who have visited its shores, with few exceptions, join in a chorus of praise of its natural attractions. The sides of its mountains were strewn with gems formed from the tears of Adam, & the air was perfumed with the odour of cinnamon. In the fourteenth century Marlgnolli, Legate of Pope Clement VI., who visited the island on his way from China, alludes to the mountain “opposite Paradise,” & repeats the Mahometan belief in its proximity to heaven, which was only “about forty miles distant.” Ribeyro says, “as Ceylon is the key of India, it appears as if God had taken pleasure in enriching it with the earth’s choicest treasures.”

The renown of Ceylon as it reached in the seventeenth century, is quaintly summed up by Purchas, in his ‘Pilgrimage:’ ‘The heavens with their dew, the air with a pleasant wholesomeness & fragrant freshness, the water in their many rivers & mountains, the earth diversified in aspiring hills, lowly valleys, equal & indifferent Plains, filled in her outward court & upper face stored with the whole woods of the best cinnamon that the sun seethes, beside fruits, oranges, lemons, etc.,surmounting those of Spain; fowls & beasts both tame & wild, among which the elephant, honoured by a natural acknowledgment of excellence of all other elephants in the world, these all have conspired & joined in common league to present with a long & healthful life in the inhabitants to enjoy them, no marvel then if sense & sensualities have here stumbled on a Paradise.”

Hi. Join stumbleupon, you can make use of it as much as Google. That is not an ad. bunpeiris

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Someone has hacked into this blog of mine & posted Julie Christy's images herein while he still has access to post comments onto this blog. That is bad taste. Ironically I have been writing on ethics too in this blog. Someone has taken trouble to read right stuff & then come up with minor manifestations of bad taste. Pity!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Collective Civic Responsibility Vs. Individual Freedom in the Third World

Collective Civic Responsibility Vs. Individual Freedom in the Third World

B. Upul N. Peiris (bunpeiris), Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: bunpeiris, Your opinion could be worth...$1,000.00!
I never collected a penny for writing from Americans or for that matter, from anyone else. Never mind. A man has to do what he has to do. His has to give his two pennies worth. All must contribute to the humanity, hell or thunder.END BEGINNING. So I see you have bothered to ask me of an opinion of mine. A top of the rack punk; the lead hack of the pack. There is no doubt this is a part & parcel of your American advertising & propaganda. You are purely driven by commercial interest. Americans, for sure, know how to make money: they would collect everything ranging from our opinions to our garbage, recycle, repackage, brand & market it. They have all the Imagination & all the courage coupled with vast resources of a continent to follow up with tremendous innovation. From Asia only Japanese could stand with them.

But there are many others who are willing to lend their ears to the opinions of the Romans, Citizens, & friends. Let's add Indians too, after all they are one billion now. Nobody listen to Chinese but they have their way & say & get others to say very sorry even when no offence was intended. That's Chinese Chop Suey cum Kung Fu dish for you to be seasoned with American produced Soya Sauce. But then again, those that are willing to be simply polite & others who are genuinely sympathetic to the opinions of others are partly responsible for the chaos of our world. Everybody with an opinion end of taking up arms & causing violence: murder & mayhem; destruction& chaos & then others say that ex-marine thought different. (sorry for American slangbang English) Thought different my bum. The baby killer. May you burn in hell Bloody McVeigh!

Bring prosperity by killing 1.7 million. The 1.7 million Killer of Killing Fields himself was killed by a mosquito. John Lennon sang “Imagine”. Imagine no races, no religions, all for all & all are all. Lennon was gunned down. Today we are faced with million mutinies.. About a decade ago I happen to read a book review of a book written by one of the finest writers of our time. Even before start reading the article it dawned on me what it could be all about. The Name of the Book is
"Million Mutinies " & the name of the writer was V. S. Naipaul. It is only in January 2001 that I got a second hand copy of the book by American second hand bookseller Thy Pax Americana, the kingdom of Dot.Com lands on your desk. Yet your heart is a blank book: your so called new world order is in wherever you can stand to your advantage with no ethics of consistency at all. Nobody wish to have a leaf of it. Having said that, we mustn’t forget philanthropists of the caliber of Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates & numerous others.

Now to drop a big brick & drive the Indian friends mad, allow me. Indians with their passion & penchant for taking up colorful language named the last civil disobedience against then ruling British, "mutiny ". They were clamouring for their bounty: India. With all that long civilization & all those pretty maids-Miss Words with such sexotic faces & exotic names such as Aishwarya, Sushmita, Diana, in a row, with all those unashamed ancient erotic carvings on, with those epics, Mahabaratha, Ramayana with only Homer's Iliad and Odyssey to take up the gauntlet, the land of Kama Sutra among million other magic, India is a divine bounty indeed.

Nevertheless, if it was then a mutiny, now in India are million mutinies of many colours & patterns. Naipaul explored his life long love, Indian society: opinions & views of multitude of races; innumerable frictions & fractions within the caste systems; contradictions & compromises of religious faith; whims & fancies of political forces; heat & passion of the idea of an one country called India although it had been one nation only twice in the history, first during King Asoka & then the British bloody colonialists

Naipaul's world was India & his million mutinies were confined to India. Once one is absorbed & then freed from Naipaul’s India, it wouldn't be difficult to see the whole world in million mutinies. And that was partly thanks to those who propagate opinions & giving way to individual freedom of expression without impressing upon all bums & mutts it would be better idea to adhere to the basic conception of collective civic responsibility. Then again, once again, this is an opinion. But then again it would suit the Third World, given the billions in China & India & exceedingly high density of population in other undeveloped countries with limited natural resources.

There is no transitional value except to hold Collective Civic Responsibility over & above Individual Freedom in the Third World. Until the undeveloped countries become developed countries, so called Universal Values of the Western Counties may best stand behind.

As Rodney King asked subsequent to Los Angeles Black American riots a decade ago, "can we all get along?'' Would it be possible for us to be magnanimous to the extent that we ourselves would suffer instead of making the others, even errant others suffer? One man did exactly that a couple of thousands years ago. Once I happened to view a part of a wonderful, beautiful film based on IRA. The young Irish Catholic, a would be terrorist argue with his mother in favour of taking up arms. "What else can we do if our grievances aren't redressed?" “Suffer it".

Other than your mother & your father there was only one man who had the right to say that. That was our man in Nazareth. Those people who had him killed are still waiting for their saviour: Waiting for Godot. It's 2001. If Ten Commandments aren't good enough, what is the option? To go with the blood & thunder, sword & fire, chaos & mutinies? So we will continue to have Million Mutinies.

The again, perhaps another man could say the same: the man who stood on the path of column of battle tanks in the Tiananmen Square during the civil protests of 1989, The silent hero is the icon of the century; a man standing down a tyrannical regime; frail flesh against unbending steel, mortality against on rush of terror, the very stuff of courage. That is the Right Stuff, indeed.

“There is no way that you can create a just society by wounding people, maiming people, and killing people”
Former IRA terrorist, the master bomber Shane Paul O'Doherty, renouncing violence


B. Upul N. Peiris

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rambling Thoughts 1

Rambling Thoughts 1: Birds, Words, Corner Shot, Nuns, Deer Hunter, Pretty Women & Samson
by bunpeiris, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka Year 2004 (c) B. U. N. Peiris
Most of the European tourists tour in Sri Lanka are keen bird watchers. So I thought you too could be interested in the flying birds. Nice to here that you are & now have it right on your office desk. I of course, am a great lover of non flying long legged birds. No, I didn’t mean Ostrich & Kiwi. What do you imagine, am I a Camel? Yes, I know you guys in Europe have no problems, no qualms in watching birds of many feathers as they do have in America. So it was at the expense of Janet Jackson’s nipple that the Americans were leaving no effort spared to produce boobgate or nipplegate. Justine Timberlake & Janet Jackson were performing “Rock your body“ during the 18 minute interval show during AFP telecast of Super Bowl ( everything in USA is super & everything else in USA is grand, kidding or no kidding,) & Timberlake has just sung “I’ll get you naked by the end of this song“ as he moved in to pull off a leather cup to expose Janet. Timberlake was as good as his word, or the words he sang so enthusiastically. And thanks & credit to him, America had a gleeful eyeful of nice boobful! Alas! Activist groups cried bloody murder just for a tit as if it was dynamite. What the hell men, just shut up. Oh! Poor Janet. Don’t cry, honey we love your music. We love you too, with or without you displaying your lovely chocolate tit. This too will pass. Wet lingering French kiss between Madona & Britney Spears on the MTV awards last August passed too. Naughty MTV!
By the way,Janet, honey, if you hadn’t learned meanings of the words, decency & vulgarity in the secondary school, you could have joined my master class: Man is the measure of all things (with apologies to Pythogoras); words would not have existed unless the conceptions are already instilled in the humanity. “Shakespeare invented the human as we continue to know it“argued Professor Harold Bloom in his bold Thesis “Shakespeare: The Invention of Human.“ The Master has made use of 30000 words. Should that turns out be Greek to you honey, let us read German:Terry Lane has defined schadenfreude as the sensation experienced when you see two Mercedes Benz collide; Clive James admits to schadenfreude when he sees his rival's books in the remainders bin. What’s more, the word has come into vogue these days, with American news of the celebrity & elite. Times Digest of 14th March 2004 ( from The New york Times) reports, “For many, the joint Omarosa-Martha beheading was a double schadenfreude. Both women have been frequently slapped with b word by detractors, who despise in them the aggressive, self absorbed & haughty behavior that is routinely countenanced in male masters of the universe.” The report refers to Martha Stewart, billionaire chef, designer celebrity who fell from grace with tax evasion charges & on obstruction of justice as well as the NBC hit reality show “The Apprentice“ contestant audiences loved to hate, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth who was ritually fired by real estate developer business tycoon Donald Trump. Two tragedies fell upon two women within the space of two days are twin joys (double schadenfreude) to most of other women as well as some men. Shameless Naked Apes!
R. C. Trench, etymologist and author of “English Past and Present and On the Study of Words” says “What a fearful thing that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing.” Now you got the form & substance, honey, isn’t it? Didn’t I drive the point to the hilt, honey pot? The words decency & vulgarity exists together with the conceptions. Just remember, such little words & life would be much simpler to you, honey. Shut the f.. up man, treat the lady with some respect. Who the bloody hell are you to preach, what have you achieved? And the lady is in the top of the world.
The National Football League was fuming. “We were extremely disappointed by the MTV- produced half time show. It was totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the content of the show. The show was offensive, inappropriate & embarrassing to our fans & us. It’s unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime.” The Americans learned their lesson: on 29th February 2004, at the Oscars, or Academy Awards, the U. S. film industry’s highest honors given by Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, for the first time ever the live telecast had a five-second delay in case some star decided to make some other daring move like Janet. It wasn’t needed. No star dared to pull Janetine stunts.
“It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended, including the audience, MTV, CBS, & the National Football League“ We accept your apologies sweetheart, yet just in case you are still serious of exposing your treasures- brown boobs with chocolate nipples- Private Ltd, producer of adult movies, sponsors of Cannes Hard Porno Film Festival of 2004, would surely be pleased to accommodate you to compete with gorgeous stars posing with pulled up or rolled up complementary Private brand T-shirts to dazzle proud creamy boobs with strawberry nipples.They did just that in 2003 at Festival De Cannes at the Mediterranean island of Santa Magurita, a French Reveira at Cannes. Those sultry & lissome hard porno stars, all pretty maids in row were nice, sexy & daring, perhaps even bit too daring for some of the professional, they had to lock themselves up in the nearest men’s room to get the the high tension off in the electrifying atmosphere. Most were not satisfied with showing off their luscious boobs. Kissing, hugging, caressing, necking, petting.. oooh! la la . This is France: that is the place. Hard porno festival: that is the time. Right time & ideal place for the perfect dolls, Janet, honey. Impressive tits of superstar Rita Palthoyana were at all times were focal point of most avid photographers, she obliged by even licking her own strawberry nipples while pushing up her proud cream boobs, that she cupped in her downy palms. And with all smiles radiant. You could be daring too Janet. And the American shy boys who daren’t steal a glance not to mention direct ogle would dream of a phonographic version of “Corner Shot“ with a shooting range of 200 meters with a 5.7 mm rifle that provides protection to the soldier by enabling him to engage targets out of their line of sight & shoot down a street, through a window or a door frame with maximum accuracy while keeping out of the line of fire. Russian soldiers during the bloody World War 2 siege of Stalingrad first had the idea of bending the barrels of their rifles to shoot around corners & their Nazi opponents developed a purpose built attachment fitted with a periscope they called the krummerlauf. E- mail address of the inventor, Amos Golan, a retired lieutenant colonel of Israeli anti-terrorist unit & joint CEO of Corner Shot Holdings, a Israeli-US company is available on order. Please contact We accept Diners Club Cards & Master Cards.
Oh! Yes, I agree with you, of course I’ll put my bet where your mouth is, on your side at your insistence that those TV viewers who made the protest & threatening to sue poor Janet are the ones, who would lean forward to ogle at the details of her chocolate tit. I wonder what would the Americans say for a Swedish style weather forecast with a sultry blonde meterologist stripping herself off piece by piece. Weather forecast with a striptease to entertain you. Joys in the world are endless as is the suffering. Oh! Sweet Jesus, Maria & Joseph, such toned & tanned long legs! Oh! Captain general Colombus, Santaaaa Mariaa, Nina & Pinta, grant us to discover what she uncover. What a gorgeous bird? Fly over my starboard & perch on my bridge. Oh! Dear! Deer Hunter ( handsome Robert De Niro), if you remember, was in love with the wife (regal Meryl Streep) of his friend (Christopher Walken) who became addicted to playing Russian Roulette on gambling in Saigon blackholes, refused to return to States. It was the wife of his friend that De Nero hunted & seduced since he returned to States. In Eastern Literature beautiful & innocent women are depicted as Deer. She deer. The title of the film “The Deer Hunter“ was arrived on this concept. The opening scene of the film, game hunting of Deer was not relevant to the title of the film. Nor was the Vietnam war in which the story was set in. In spite of being in love with the wife of his friend, De Niro returns to Saigon to bring his friend back to States & to back to his lovely young wife. “One last game, just one last... We will be returning Home.“ No, man, no... no no... do not do this.. no,. Gun held to the temple .. one gun .. one bullet... six chambers.. play the ultimate gamble... this just one last time, after all these years of astonishing luck, feel & weight of the chamber, the bullet was in the wrong chamber of the revolver. At April 1979,The Deer Hunter won Oscars for best film, best director, best supporting actor.
What would have stirred if not shaken (sorry Bond) the mind of a second world war veteran European (friend of a friend of mine) who fought in Russia that he could no longer aim a hunting gun at a Deer while still among traditional hunter family members? While Europeans are keen game hunters, even in that game Americans have done one better, or rather worse: in their gluttony to have more moose meat on the dining table, instead of hunting simply Moose they have started killing Wolves too. The theory is if the population of Wolves who prey on Moose is minimized the hunters will be able to have a part of the Wolf's share too in addition to the hunter’s share. To this end Alaska it is now legalized for private citizens to shoot wolves from fixed winged, single engine small private air crafts & helicopters.That is not game hunting, that is bloody slaughter. In one of the districts of Alaska, limit for killing wolves has been increased from 10 wolves a year to 10 wolves a day. Age-old war on Wolves has resumed with a age-old savagery by the modern naked Ape. Disgusting! Could you please pass roasted once again? Delicious!
In the experience of a European friend of mine, it was the birth of his daughter that triggered emotions that overwhelmed the appetite to hunt hares & ducks & fish. Amazing, isn’t it? But lovely. How nice to get rid of the habit of game hunting & angling? According to Buddhism it is a sin to take lives of other living beings. Once Reuter reported of how a Sinhalese soldier treated and cured a calf seriously wounded by a stray bullet during a battle with separatist Tamil Tigers. Even after a ferocious bloody battle the soldier’s kind feelings towards the beast remained unabated.Most of the battle hardened soldiers of Sri Lankan Army are still, at heart are boys from rural areas who wouldn’t say boo to a cat. Still more, in their rural upbringing, they are used to shepherd, york cows and buffalos. Once during a conscription interview a military officer questioned the would be soldier on his qualifications on sports. Sir I can wrestle with any rouge buffalo, tame & york it the plough within half an hour“ replied the boy. “Sir this is my youngest son. My two elder sons already gave their lives for our country. Take my third & only remaining son to fight for his country too, sir, for he is as brave as his brothers.“That was his mother.
In the biography of Asia’s second Pol Pot,“Inside an Elusive Mind” Prabhakaran, Indian journalist M. R. Narayan Swamy narrates. “Kittu frequently zipped around in Jaffna, with a small monkey perched on his shoulders. Kittu had once shot a monkey by mistake. When he saw that the killing had orphaned its young one, he made it his pet” No more monkey killing, bloody Ape. Kittu was Asia’s second Pol Pot’s most trusted lieutenant until he was killed in naval battle with Indian Navy during a gun running operation. In fact Kittu must have killed the monkey, in Vietnam style, for Monkey meat is a delicacy to the savages. Biographers are sympathetic to their heroes. but to give the devil his due credit, the Tamil Tiger would have saved the young monkey. Yet the Tamil Tigers destroyed the whole Island. As if the loss of lives & limbs were not enough, colossal damage to the economy wasn’t enough, byproducts of long drawn out war since 1983 have erupted in every sphere, field & aspect of our island nation: whole social fabric was torn into pieces; social conventions are shattered; sense of morality is blunted. We are sliding down the spiral towards the abyss. To the rich & powerful & corrupted, the poor & powerless & innocent have become the most exploitable citizens.
My second sister was given date a good three months following, for the surgical eye operation for Cataract. The best eye surgeon of the Island Dr. Perera has become so famous our people were wiling even to have been kept in the waiting list for long months. That was in the main government eye hospital in Colombo. Since it was an incredible folly to wait for three months, we tried another hospital a couple of miles from our city only to have the operation in April. I gaped, April??? “That’s how the matters grind on here.” said my father. “More like matters have grinded to a halt” I groaned. So we made a move towards a private hospital. The eye surgeon therein advised my sister to have the operation done by Dr. Perera himself, since he was the one who had already successfully operated her right eye a year ago. The kind doctor explained since my sister is still young & the technology used by herself (non foldable lens) & Dr. Perera (foldable lens) being different - it would be much better to have the operation done by Dr. Perera Good doctor scribbled a letter on behalf of my sister– Dear Dr. Perera, Please be kind enough…
There were 70 patients. We didn’t have a number, yet my sister was called in just after No. 6 patient. My sister rushed in with my eldest sister while I waited outside. Good Doctor has spoken to them kindly. I am unable to do the operation tomorrow. “today is 19th Jan. Is 25th Jan is fine for you?” That’s wonderful Doctor.” All of a sudden, the matter is so easy. I was naïve. I ought to have realized the leading medical specialists do have breaks & blanks in their schedule to entertain the requests of high & mighty. So why not oblige to a request by a friend?
At my brother’s home : “So what happens to the existing lens?” asked my 11-year-old nephew “I have no idea.” On the day of the operation while we were buying the crystalline foldable lens at M/s Delmage Forsyth & Co., I learned what happens to the existing lens. It is crushed in to dust with a drill & suctioned out of the eye & replaced with the crystalline lens. So I reported back to my nephew, (eh! His questions & queries are endless) when we returned home after the operation. “Last week he didn’t know what happens to the existing lens. Now he got to know that too. He wouldn’t play a second fiddle to grandfather” remarked my third niece to her elder sister.
The crystalline lens cost USD 100 & hospital charges USD 100. The most prominent eye-surgeon of the island, Dr Perera charges USD 70 as surgeon’ fees alone for an operation that is done in ten minutes. USD 70 X 30 Patients a day- 30 cataract operations. USD 2100 a day for at least 4 days a week. And the monthly salary of a female nurse is USD 100. Disparity of income tantamount to obscenity. It is profane & really offensive. How do we justify this colossal disparity in income of our little island? Nobody cares: nobody even dream of rectifying such affairs: regulating the hospital & doctors charges at private hospitals. Do our helpless Sri Lankans like it very much? Two decades ago seven newly formed finance companies collapsed making the depositors beat their breasts for the rest of their lives. Chairman of one of the companies escaped to Australia leaving a plaque on his office desk: “when going get tough, tough get going.’ Obviously a great fan of Bruce Springsteen. It was only after the notorious failure, the Central Bank introduced a regulatory body for the finance companies. Our bureaucrats failed to establish a regulatory body in the beginning & gave them the finance companies a free hand; our stupid masses, who failed to realize the absence of a regulatory body on finance companies, deposited their life savings in view of higher interest rates compared to established & renowned bans. That is our Island. This is third world.
Since we are now tired of discussing all these bitter affairs, perhaps it would be soothing to relax & focus on a Pretty Women. The business tycoon is furious his down town working class sleeping partner was snubbed. (“They were mean to me”) at a high end designer outfits, haute couture shop at Beverly Hills. He escorts her back.
Richard Gere: (Nodding at the direction of Pretty Julia Roberts) You see this lady over there? Do you have anything in this shop as beautiful as she is?
Beverly hill shop Manager: Yes, of course…. Oh! No no no I mean we have many things as beautiful as she would want to be, that’s … that’s the point… I think we can all agree on that.
Richard Gere: We are going to need few more people helping her out as we are going to be spending an obscene amount of money in here. So we need a lot more help sucking up money.
Beverly Hills shop Manager: Sir, if I may say so, you are in the right store & right city, for that matter.
Exactly how obscene the amount of money you have in min, profane or really offensive?
Richard Gere: Ree….a..a.lly Offensive.
Beverly Hill shop Manager: I like it very much.
If we do like it very much, the reason ought to have been we have become indifferent to our day to day travails amidst the chaos of social decline, caused by the mass murdering terrorists. Some years ago I too had a sort of disparaging indifference.
Once a friend of mine faxed me a letter to editor by one Mrs. G. narrating, vehicle traffic, garbage dumps, politicians what not…. I replied to him, minced no words: “While we are wondering about the lives of thousands of those splendid young men who gave their lives so that others could live, but all in vain since the days are numbered of the Island Race of 2550 years of unbroken recorded history, it is fascinating to see the suffering at which Mrs. G beating her breast about. She cry her heart out that of garbage close to her home; how sinister is the color of tinted shutters of the vehicles our buffaloes traveling by the Diyawanaa Oya; river that of being invaded her privacy at home by the policeman while she was not wearing her wonderful make-up. Which third world country is free of such harassment of the masses at the hands of those in power? If I have a reason to be glad, in spite of the imminent doom of the Island, let it be, that so far no politician was able to pump millions of Dollars of people’s money to Swiss banks as Bhutto, Marcos, Suharto & others of their kind did. Would you please come back when that happens? With Love (Italics are mine too )
My friend replied. “I have to give it it you! Know something, I was highly impressed by what she has written. However your comments completely changed my thinking... How come I missed such a vital point? Your writing is classic. Congrats.
Since then I have developed a sharply contrasting point of view: I have come to realize, in spite of the economic & social chaos caused by the terrorism, we must not fall into a time of indifference. We must talk of Kings & Cabbages: why we have only one cancer hospital for the whole island; why only 6 universities that could accommodate only the cream of the cream of the nation; why we do not get assistance from European countries to have technical colleges founded in the line of German Technical College of Sri Lanka: why don’t we found hospital in the line of Japanese gifted hospital; why we do not hire foreign physicians & specialists; why we do not have foreign expertise on national security; why should pay offensive government tax; municipality tax; why is the high price of rice; why public funds wasted on luxury cars for the politicians; why we have such a high percentage of cataract patients; why state transport decline day by day; why we do not have more & more duplication roads in parallel with main roads in the capital city; why we do not expand railway network; why is this cruelty to children. We must rise up, speak up, push our politicians, statesman & administrators & civil servant, & bureaucrats to wounds scattered all over the national social fabric. We must not sink into abyss. We must find solutions to all: solve all. All is not lost.
In his maiden speech, “Cruelty to children’, as a Member of Parliament delivered at the Rajya Sabha of India, in 1989, by famous Indian writer R. K. Narayan stated ”…. “I am now pleading for the abolition of the school bag, as a national policy, by an ordinance if necessary. I have investigated & found that an average child carries strapped to his back like a pack-mule, not less than six to eight kgs of books, notebooks & other paraphernalia of modern education in addition to lunch-box & water bottle. Most children on account of this daily burden develop a stoop & hang their arms forward like chimpanzees while walking, & I know cases of serious spinal injuries in some children too. Asked why not leave some books behind at home, the child explains it is her teacher’s orders that all books & notes must be brought everyday to the class, for what reasons God alone knows. If there is a lapse, the child invites punishment, which takes the form of being rapped on the knuckles with a wooden scale; a refinement from our days when we received cane cuts on the palm only. The child is in such terror of the teacher, whether known as sister, Mother Superior, or just Madam, that he or she is prepared to carry out any command issued by the teacher, who has no imagination or sympathy. “That was in 1989. On 3rd March 2004, One Mohammed Haseebullah form India writing to Saudi Gazette states. “Finally we are on the Raj Bhavan road, but again there is a traffic jam. Another VIP entourage? No, this time it is an accident, an auto with just 11 school going children & their 20 kilo bags (each) collided with an Indian feeling- good father who was taking his four children to school on his scooter.”
Plight of school children in Sri Lanka is not far behind. When I asked my 10 year old niece why her school bag is so heavy she replied since on some days periods at school is not held according to the time tables all children are asked to bring all text books & note books so that they would be ready for any change of schedule in subjects on any given day. As Narayan said teachers of the third world countries have on sympathy or imagination. Once my eldest sister happened to witness the holy antics of the Reverend Mother, principal of the convent college to a couple of parents who were seeking admission of their daughter. “We do not accept Buddhist Children That is the end of the story” proclaimed the Reverend Mother thumping on the desk. Taken aback by the outrageous insolence the father of the child retorted. “This is not the manner even a reverend sister ought to speak. And you are a Reverend Mother, a principal of a college, if you have no idea how a Mother ought to speak, kindly that is, you must know at least how to speak as a human being …. Shouting & thumping like a thug. We are going to petition to Bishop himself.” My nieces were admitted to the Convent College only thanks to the recommendation letter from the Commanding Officer of the Air force base close to our city. It was at my behest my nieces started studying Christianity at the college. With my move, their father was quick to have them admitted to Buddhist Sunday School so that they could learn Buddhism at least on Sunday. His death in an air crash brought in untold sorrows & loss to all of us. He was our front man, point man. I have never seen him taken a step back. On that fateful day, it was not his turn to fly. When it was only a couple of weeks ago Tamil Tigers has acquired Surface to Air (SAM) missiles & shot down two military aircrafts, he volunteered to fly. He lived & died like Samson.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Taming of the Shrew, by the grace of god Skanda

Moola Mantra

Om Sharavana-bhavaya Namaha !

Gyaanashaktidhara skanda valliikalyana sundara
devasenaa namah kaanta kaartikeya namo
Om subrahmanyaaya namah !

[Adorations to Lord Subrahmanya!
Adorations to Lord Kartikeya who is known as Skanda,
Who holds the staff of wisdom,
who has the beautiful beloved Goddess Vallii,
Who is the enchanter of the mind of Goddess Devasena,
to that Divine Kartikeya I offer adorations again and again!]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Taming of the Shrew, by the grace of god Skanda

Elephant worshipping at the temple of God Skanda Buddhist Stupa close to Hindu temple of God Skanda, God Skanda of Katargama River Manik Ganga at Kataragama The corssed tuskers are a torment to the noble beast Festival A main road running along the rainwater reservoir Offerings of fruits to God Skanda. Rain water reservoir at Kataragama Rosen Hotel

Romances From The Resplendent Island 2 by B. Upul N. Peiris

Sinhalese Prince Vs. Pandayan Princess
During the reign of Queen Leelawathie (1208 – 1210 AD, 1221-1222 AD)( the queen of King Parakarambahu the great ) in the resplendent island of Lanka, Princess Jinaraji, the daughter of King Veera Pandya the second of Pandyan Kingdom of Southern India was sent in pilgrimage to Kataragama, Sri Lanka. In spite of the expedition being one of pilgrimage, the princess has arrived with a force of 3000 Pandyan warriors at the sea port of Mantota. Not to be outdone, Queen Leelawathie too sent in a force of 3000 Sinhalese warriors led by her young nephew Prince Navaratna. Intermittent invasions of Lanka by the marauding Dravidian forces from Southern India was such, it was not for the Sinhalese Kingdom to take anything coming from South India for granted, no matter of the stated intentions, no matter how innocuous the expedition would seem to be.
Prince Navaratna, having arrived at Mantota, boarded the Pandyan vessel & welcomed the princess to his land, the ‘Land of Delights”. The princess while descending from the vessel to the boat lost her balance & slipped only to be held by the Prince The Pandayan princess, in spite of being saved from falling into the sea, in her arrogance, took umbrage, took it as an insult to be held even by a prince. The body guards of the princess, in their haste to appease a shrew of a princess took no time to push the prince overboard.
The prince having swum to the shore, in view of the insult to him, while still organizing the pilgrimage to Kataragama, managed to keep himself at a distance from the Pandyan princess. Princess Jinaraji was sent in to Sri Lanka for the sole purpose of easing the passage to her marriage: tales of her temperament & arrogance having spread over the lands, her hand in marriage wasn’t asked by any of the princes of the southern Indian kingdoms. The astrologers at the Pandyan court have prophesied pilgrimage to Kataragama, southern coast of island of Lanka would serve the purpose. In line with the requirements, an earthen lifelike statue of princes was made with a jewel in a closed fist of the statue. It was prophesied, would be husband of the princess would take possession of the jewel without breaking off the fist of the statue.
Prince Navartna, having led the pilgrimage, settled down to propitiate the deity of Katatargama, God Skanda as much in devotion as the princess herself. His petition was in search of justice against the insult done to him by the shrew of a princess. The prince paid homage to the deity day & night on both banks of River Manik in a couple of temples he himself erected in honor of God Skanda. At the end of the pilgrimage of princess, in the long voyage to Mantota, the party took a few days rest at Mahiyangana. On the bank of the River Mahaweli, the prince was visited by a hermit who pulled out a precious jewel from his turban. Entrusting the jewel to the prince, the hermit asked him to stay at the hermitage few paces alone the path until such time he return. While resting in the heritage, the prince fell asleep with the fall of the night only to be woken up by the warmth of a hugging & curving feminine body.
It was non other than the Princess Jinaraji herself who had lost her party, lost her way, lost her bearings while running for her life from a leopard. Having recounted her tale of helplessness, the princess fell on her knees & begged for forgiveness on the insult to the prince aboard her ship. The prince took her to his embrace & a night of lust & love followed. That was divine. They say you will never know the divine ways.
The retinue who had been searching the princess during the whole night was able to find her alone, unharmed in the same spot that she was lost but only in the following morning. The royal retinue returned to Pandya kingdom in due course only for the king & queen to be intimated that their unmarried daughter has conceived. Having heard of the state of the affairs from the princess, the King & queen accompanying the princess sailed to the kingdom of Lanka. Prince Navaratna was asked whether he was in possession of a certain jewel. When the prince presented the jewel entrusted to him by the hermit, it was apparent the forecast of astrologers had come true. With the consent of Queen Leelawathie, Prince Navaratna & Princess Jinaraji were united in holy marriage at Kataragama, the domain of God Skanda.
That was divine. You will never know the divine ways. We can get to know, by the grace of god. Let’s go to Kataragama, Sri Lanka & pay homage to God Skanda.
The best time to visit Kataragama
The town is at is best bold, bright & busiest during the Kataragama festival, held around the Kandy Esala Perahera pageant in Kandy- two weeks in July & August
The legend & the history
According to the legend, victorious King Duttha Gamini (161-137 BC) built the original shrine following his series of long battles against the mighty forces of Dravidian invader, Elara, at Anuradhapura. The legend is God Kataragama helped King Dutugamunu’s formidable Sinhalese army to cross the River Menik, which would have been an unassailable mighty river a couple of millennium ago. The history is (Mahawamsa) King Dutugamunu’s army was commanded by ten mighty warriors, Nandhimitta, Suranimala, Mahasona, Gothaimbara, Theraputtabhaya (formerly a Buddhist monk, he gave up the Buddhist order for the sole purpose of saving the Sinhalese & Buddhism from the marauding Dravidian invaders), Bharana, Velusumana, Khanjadeva, Phussadeva & Labhiyavasaba, all of them of superhuman strength & courage sans Achilles heel. Those ten mighty ambidextrous warriors of great strength & courage were ably assisted by great battle elephants. Foremost in strength, beauty, shape & the qualities of courage & swiftness & of mighty size of body was the royal elephant Kandula, who broke open the mighty door of impregnable Dravidian fortress at Vijithapura (city of victory), Anuradhapura

"A beautiful & Holy Vision" (American)Thomas Merton 1968

"A beautiful & Holy Vision"  (American)Thomas Merton 1968
.............."Ceylon affords so many attractions, so much interest, with its great variety of populations, with its picturesque ruined cities, temples, & its unmatched health-resorts among the hills, that I do not wonder at the enthusiasm of traveler & poet. Literally, every prospect pleases, & I do not think that man here displays any conspicuous or unusual vileness. Indeed, a few days on the island & among its people made me feel how much superior, as a civilizing & humanizing force, is Buddhism to the denigrating Hinduism, which, fallen from its higher ancient philosophies, has perverted the life of India. " (American) John Henry Barrows 1897

"Life bears an inextinguishable flame in this land" (American) Ashsah B. Brewster 1921

"Life bears an inextinguishable flame in this land" (American) Ashsah B. Brewster 1921

Tour Sri Lanka, "The Land of Delights" with Riolta Lanka Holidays

"I am more & more delighted with this island & its people" (American) Clara Kathleene Rogers 1903

"I am more & more delighted with this island & its people"  (American) Clara Kathleene Rogers 1903

"It seems an echo from remote centuries" (American) William Samuel Wuthman Ruschenberger 1835

"It seems an echo from remote centuries" (American) William Samuel Wuthman Ruschenberger 1835

"..serene stone Buddhas sit smiling through the centuries" (American) Achsah Barlow Brewster 1921

"..serene stone Buddhas sit smiling through the centuries" (American) Achsah Barlow Brewster 1921
Buddha Statue, Gal Vihare, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka ..................... ....... " It is a tough man who can enter the orbit of its sad & immutable calm without in his eyes tears of recognition of the rightness of he Buddha’s enlightenemnet. Ellora, Mahabalapuram, Michelangelo, Giza, non of them to this eye approach it." (American) William Hull 1955

"Such a sense of beauty & spiritual validity in aesthetic illumination" (American)Thomas Merton

"Such a sense of beauty & spiritual validity  in aesthetic illumination" (American)Thomas Merton
Aukana, Sri Lanka. The magnificent free-standing statue carved out of a single rock is the tallest Buddha statue in existence today. The perfect 12m-high standing Buddha is adored all over the island to such an extent, that several full scale copies have been erected in the island. Carved out of the living rock the expression of the statue is serene & from his curled hair there sprouts the flame called siraspata signifying the power of supreme enlightenment. Although the statue is large & stands straight up with feet firmly planted on the lotus stone pedestal, the body retains a graceful quality enhanced by beautifully flowing drapery clinging to the body.

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