Articles

Bellbids Club Hopper Night – Appa! Appa! Bittara Appa! … with the Bellbirds – Photos & Write up By Hyacinth Jones

Got into the heart of hoppers, the Bellbirds did, on their Hopper Night at the Cox’s Road. North Ryde School of Arts Community hall on Saturday September 15. More than one hundred and fifty members and guests delved into those magnificent hoppers prepared by Kumarika and her team of helpers; the crispy, bowl-shaped pancake-like meal made with rice flour that can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner. The centre of the bowl can be of plain flour, or a parboiled egg or those with a sweet tooth can opt for kittul juggery. As accompaniments, they served generous helpings chicken curry, beef or lamb curry, seeni sambal and coconut sambal, followed by dessert of curd and kittul honey…all delightful!

Add to that a big dishing of hip-swaying dance music served by Gordon Rebeira, Clifford Willenberg and Nihara Loos who ensured that guests (including three little girls hardly nudging ten years of age) jived the night away.

The success of the night revealed the experience of 54 years of social life of the Bellbirds Club.

Click here of on the photos below to view the full album of photos on eLanka Facebook page

Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night Bellbids Club Hopper Night

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Dr Kadira Pethiyagoda for Aston

Professional Experience 

PhD in International Relations supervised by former Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans – Former Diplomat and Foreign Service Officer who represented Australia overseas – Former Advisor to Labor Shadow Foreign Minister – Masters at Oxford University in International Human Rights Law (coursework completed, graduation expected in March) – Former Visiting Scholar at Oxford University – Currently Fellow at the world’s top think tank – International profile as a foreign policy expert: – Published articles with the Guardian, Huffington Post, Labor Herald, Independent, Foreign Affairs, Lowy Institute and others.

– Appeared as an expert on TV BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC and others – Have been cited by CNN, NY Times, Reuters, South China Morning Post and others – Book titled ‘Making India’s Foreign Policy: the Role of Cultural Values’ due to be published by Oxford University Press – Migrated from Sri Lanka as a child à This professional experience enables me to: – develop sound policy solutions and help Labor guide Australia through the mammoth power shifts occurring in Asia and the world – represent the community in Parliament

Aston Electorate
Includes: Rowville, Wantirna, Scoresby, Knox,
Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully

Contact

Email:kadira.pethiyagoda@alp.vic.org.au
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/DrKadiraPETHIYAGODA

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Obituary notice: K K J KODITUWAKKU (1933 – 2018)

K K J KODITUWAKKU

Retired Mechanical Engineer (former Director, Department of Machinery & Equipment, Sri Lanka), beloved husband of Pearl, loving father of Dr Aruna Kodituwakku (Sydney), father-in-law of Dr Nalika Kodituwakku (Sydney) and grandfather of Lihini & Hiruni, passed away on 16 September 2018 in Sydney, Australia.

Viewing at Allan Drew Heritage Chapel, Old Northern Rd, Castle Hill from 6:00 to 8:30pm on Thursday, 20 September 2018.
Funeral Service at Castlebrook Cemetery, Windsor Rd, Rouse Hill from 12:45 to 2:45pm on Saturday, 22 September 2018.
4 HODDER ST, KELLYVILLE, NSW 2155, AUSTRALIA. Tel: 02 9629 4497 / 0422 092 105

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LETS PRETEND – By Des Kelly

“Pretend you’re happy when you’re blue,

       it isn’t very hard to do”, go the lyrics of a famous song from ages past. I could go on, and sing the whole song for you, the Lord knows, I have sung it, many times, but folks, it was much easier to “pretend” in the good old days. Back in the ancient past, when I was a boy, in the “Ceylon” that I knew, there were certain days of the week set aside just for “pretending”. I am sure that I wasn’t the only one to do this, but, on these days, from morning to night, wherever I went, whatever I did, I used to pretend that I was “acting” the role.

Because I wanted to be an entertainer, from a very early age, including the time I was “on-stage”, around 1945/6, singing “kunuharapa-baila”, I had picked up at the age of around ten, I pretended/acted, that I knew what I was doing, when I really did not know what the hell I was singing about.

My audiences were NOT pretending. They were having a ball, laughing their heads off, that’s all that really mattered to me.

     In this day & age, to make a long story short, I still am attracted to pretending, but this is certainly not “Pretence on my Part”anymore.One only has to just look around to see “Politicians” pretending to be for the “People”, when all they really want to do is to line their own “Pockets”, to see “Millionaires”  pretend to maximize “Trusts”, in order to minimize TAXES (that they  hardly have to pay, today, anyway), to see so-called “Musicians” pretend that it IS “Music”, not “Mayhem”(they’re now deaf in one ear & can’t hear with the other), to hear “Singers”, who pretend to sing by “Slurring” their lyrics, to pretend that China only wants to take-over the Southern “Hemisphere” and does not, now own “Hambanthota”, to do this & that & pretend it is really that & this, (& I could go on all day, but let me now simply say), please listen to this song which is the ultimate pretence of two great Artistes of Country music, Leona Williams & Merle Haggard.

Desmond Kelly

Des Kelly

The Star of eLanka – Editor in Chief

 

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Rice Banana Leaves and Lamprais – By Dr. Tilak S Fernando

By Dr. Tilak S Fernando

The response to one of my articles titled ‘Burgher Community in Sri Lanka,’ some time ago has been appreciated by many of my Burgher friends, both abroad in Australia and in Sri Lanka. My good friend, Egerton, decided to comment on it, in typical old school ‘Sri Lankan English’ as he put it by saying thus: 

“My friends join me in saying a big thank you to you for your ever interesting, highly informative, authentic, brazenly outspoken and lucidity of style of your column, which acted as a ‘prophylactic’ against an exacerbated degree of hebetudinosity in this personalised Super Nova of an exalted terrain deluged with languorous survival kit,” some of which, I must admit, went completely over my head!

The most interesting part of the article was identified as the section on ‘Lamprais,’ which was referred to in a special souvenir designed as a ‘valuable keepsake’ during the 90th Anniversary of the Dutch Burgher Union Celebrations in 1998. The interesting aspect of the ‘Dutch Lamprais’ was about the menu and ingredients that went to make a comprehensive meal, along with the invention of the banana leaf, with its high porosity, used to wrap curries and sambols, much prior to the invention of polythene.  

Evolution of lamprais

Despite my research on lamprais, I was unable to give a comprehensive breakdown on the history and the authentic menu due to the restriction of words in the column. However, once the article was published, a very senior Burgher friend was kind enough to send me an impressive history of the original lamprais in which he stated that ‘it was the Dutch who brought lamprais to Ceylon from Indonesia, which also had been a colony of the Netherlands till about seven decades ago. In fact, the Dutch ruled Indonesia from around 1600 till 1949, whilst they ruled Ceylon from about 1640 to 1796.

Since polythene was not invented at that time, and paper was not suitable for wrapping all the accompaniments of rice such as curries and sambols, which tended to seep through on account of the high porosity of paper, banana leaf was utilised  as an ideal alternative with its hygienic attribute as its waxy nature minimized permeability. It was found out that banana leaf did not only permit seepage, but also preserved the food wrapped in it for longer periods. The leaf was also found to impart a desirable flavour and fragrance to the rice wrapped in it, which is very distinctive in lamprais, and, in fact, makes it taste better after about 24 hours of being kept wrapped. The latest finding about the banana leaf is that it contains a high percentage of polyphenols, like in green tea, encompassing other health benefits too.

Old Dutch Recipe

My Burgher friend recalls his mother mentioning how the lamprais curry should consist of five meats, i.e. chicken, pork, beef, mutton or lamb and liver. However, the “Old Dutch Recipe” offers two options. The first choice is mutton pork and chicken, and the second with just beef and pork. His sister also seems to remember the ‘five-meat’ recipe their mother used to follow. Perhaps she (sister) may have improvised, as these special little touches were passed on from mother to daughter, and generally not put down in writing. 

In the “Old Dutch Recipe” it is mentioned that apart from the curry, the “Blachung” sambol, the onion [seeni] sambol and the frikadelles, a combination of finely chopped beef and pork (compressed and immersed in a solution of beaten egg) before being fried, what is currently termed as ‘ball cutlets,’ made out of compressed beef, or a combination of beef and pork – but never with fish)! This was because these items did not get spoilt easily, due to non-availability of refrigeration, then. Now, one may use one’s discretion by including brinjal pahi and a dry ash plantain preparation as part and parcel of lamprais. 

Usually, each lamprais has just a large cup of rice, with the accompaniments, which really is just the right amount for a person, as it does not make one feel too full. However, Sri Lankans tend to need more rice to fill their bellies and, therefore, the tendency has been to include more rice, these days.

My friend makes it a point to stress the fact that just because a rice meal is wrapped in banana leaves these days, it cannot be called lamprais, other than really calling it a ‘glorified packet of rice and curry’, with full pieces of chicken, coconut sambol, lunumiris, fish cutlets, hard-boiled eggs, sweetened Blachung (what was in the DBU menu) and a huge serving of rice to satisfy the Sri Lankan desire.

Commercialism

Lamprais making today appears to have lost its originality!  In the olden days, the whole preparation had been a labour of love and an accomplishment of pride made and savoured almost exclusively by Dutch Burgher families till around the 1960s where each component was prepared with personal care in accord with recipes handed down from mothers to daughters, but now, even in the ‘mixed’ variety, the curry is made up mainly of chicken (as it is the cheapest meat), with a smattering of beef and pork, if at all.

When the popularity of lamprais increased, it was tainted by commercialism, and every Tom, Dick and Harry started mass producing them, with scant regard for authenticity, but charging for them outrageously, merely for the ‘brand name’. Sometimes even 5-star resorts, served up what was an absolute excuse for a lamprais.

My Burgher friend maintains that those who have not tasted the original Dutch lamprais are not qualified to comment on it or make comparisons because the only authentic lamprais in recent times, in his opinion, it was made by a husband and wife team – who have now taken retirement a few years ago, as age was catching up, and they could not cope with the demand of orders. Lamprais made by them were with all the components and personally prepared solely by them without leaving to the domestics to handle, as it is done at present.

A New Survey

Some of these revelations were surfaced after a young law undergrad, Panchali Illankoon, who is also a travel enthusiast, revealed after a survey she did in Colombo, embracing the history, and the preparation of lamprais.

In her write up young Panchali had mentioned how this ‘Dutch-Burgher influenced dish,’ which had been a staple diet in Sri Lankan cuisine for many years has become a popular meal among Sri Lankans. It was apparent, even in her survey, that the recipe had changed and developed over the years, by various food outlets in Colombo where seeni sambol and boiled eggs have been added to lamprais, and chicken meat and cutlets have substituted frikkadels.

Those senior Burghers, who have experienced and tasted the authentic Dutch lamprais, do not appear to be in total agreement with everything Panchali had divulged in her survey conducted and published under the caption “Going Dutch – The Best Lamprais in Town’.  Certainly, the statements and comments that come out of the old generation of Dutch families in Colombo, who have experienced and tasted the authentic lamprais hold water, when the young who have not tasted the original Dutch recipe, appear to be the connoisseurs of lamprais, because the authentic lamprais were those lovingly prepared by Dutch-Burgher housewives up to the 1950s and 1960s.

(tilakfernando@gmail.com)

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“AC/DC” – By Des Kelly

feel sure that most Musicians around the World know about the above “hard-rock” band I am now immortalizing on eLanka. A few years ago, this band was appearing in Melbourne, while on tour around Australia, and my eldest son, Michael, who was a “fan”, wanted his mother & myself to also have the benefit of seeing this fabulous band in action, bought our tickets and decided to drive us to the venue himself, knowing that the both of us might opt out, simply to keep our “hearing” intact. I already knew that this group was one of the “loudest” on Planet Earth. It is not “decibels” we are talking about here, (being a word-smith of sorts), I would call them “maxibels”. AC/DC played their music in maxibels of maximum degrees, to make a long story short. Anyway Cynthia, God rest her soul, and “yours truly” bought ourselves two pairs of the best ear-plugs we could get, Michael, our erstwhile son picked us up, and drove us to this venue, to listen to AC/DC.

     We arrived about half an hour before “the show”. Mike dropped us off and said that he would pick us up for our trip home, to Dandenong. The main door to the hall was locked, so we walked around the foyer, looking, for all the world, like two middle-aged “groupies” as they were called at the time.

AC/DC were rehearsing back-stage, behind locked doors, and, to explain quite simply, what two middle-aged groupies and about 500 15 & 16 year old, one-eyed fans were hearing even before we were ushered into the hall, were sounds, very much like rumbling thunder. Cynthia & myself quickly put our ear-plugs on and took our seats, amid strange looks and silly-smirks from the much younger lot, waited for the show to start. 8.30 pm was curtain-raising time. No more thunder could be heard, and apart from the chatter of the young fans & ushers (about a dozen of them), it was very quiet now. 

 have to admit, the concert promoters got their timing right. At 8.30 pm, sharp, the curtain around the huge stage opened up. Nobody was on-stage, but then, with the humongous CRASH of drums, cymbals, plus about 52 other percussion instruments, the FLOOR of the stage opened up and AC/DC appeared,with Angus, their lead guitarist, dressed in  his favourite “School-boy” rig, ran directly to the very front of the stage, then running the entire length, forwards & backwards, playing his guitar to “back” their front-man,(vocalist), his instrument already sounding like a dozen cats screaming in anguish as they were being strangled. 

The show had started, the young audience, on their feet,  were already screaming too, adding to the deafening sound of the band. I actually felt sorry for the ushers trying to control them. Cynthia  & I had our hands over our earplugs, but it didn’t matter. The SCREECH of Angus’s guitar seemed to make it’s way into our plugged ears, travelling from the stage, underground. I have to sum it up, by saying that, as a band, they were professional and did what they had to do.

However we couldn’t hear a word that their vocalist was singing, I didn’t know HOW that guitar was played without all six strings snapping, Cynthia was already making motions that we should make our exit, when we noticed, through the din, that there were, what looked like two CANNONS on either side of the stage. I agreed with her.

Me & myself were already used to hearing loud bands doing their stuff, in the various venues around Melbourne, but, Michael wanted his parents to “see & hear” the LOUDEST BAND IN THE WORLD, and we did, getting out, just before the band ended that particular show. We walked quickly, away from the hall, but still heard the ROAR of the two cannons, finishing off the show, quite some distance from the venue. How everyone there (without ear-plugs), escaped becoming as deaf as doorposts, I will never know. 

     Now that all is said & done, AC/DC is not my primary reason for writing this story. This is happening right now.

Our new P.M.(“Say no more, SCOMO, is my name, you know”, as he said himself, to some of HIS fans), has just authorised an AC/RC (Aged Care/Royal Commission), even before the subject is brought up on the ABC/TV Channel, this evening, the 17th of September 2018. Let it happen, I say. I will watch it (because I have nothing else to do, being AGED, myself) & bring a more detailed account to thousands of eLanka readers, in the process. Please bear with me for my next episode “From AC/DC – AC/RC”.

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Dilki receives State Award for Outstanding Community Service 

Marie Pietersz
Story: Marie Pietersz, Melbourne

Pictures: Courtesy of Savish

 

Balwyn resident Dilkie (Dilrukshie) Perera is the latest recipient of the coveted Victorian Government’s Multicultural Award for Excellence – Meritorious Service to the Community. This award recognises her 20 years of outstanding service to the community, her leadership and dedication towards the promotion of Sri Lankan culture in Victoria, her work in uniting South Asian communities in business, cultural celebration and fundraising initiatives, and her support and empowerment of multicultural youth.

She was presented with the award by the Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Helen Kapalos, in the presence of the Governor of Victoria Hon Linda Dessau AC and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Hon Robin Scott MP. 

Dilkie immigrated to Australia in 1987. A Chartered Accountant, she held many prestigious positions in Sri Lankan businesses and was Finance Manager of the Sugar Corporation before migrating to Australia and gaining her title of Certified Practising Account (CPA).  In Melbourne Dilkie worked as a financial controller in private organisations and chartered accountancy firms such as PKF Australia and HLB Mann Judd.

In the past 25 years Dilkie has dedicated her time to promoting business between Sri Lanka and Australia and providing​ a platform for the business community to enhance its knowledge on business matters, taxation and commercial law in Australia. She served on the executive committee of the Sri Lanka Australia Council, and was head-hunted to lead the Auslanka Business Council as President, a post she held for seven years, and is currently the National President. 

She extended her service to the South Asian community by joining  SAPAC (South Asia Public Affairs Council) and served on the Committee for Sri Lanka for over two decades, involved in cultural and social activities in the community and assisting with organising the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations in Melbourne, which she still does, lately working working closely with the Sri Lankan Consulate in Melbourne on this event. ​

Seeing a vaccum in the involvement of young people in community events, she started the Miss Sri Lanka Australia Pageant with the objective of creating community leaders of young adults with Sri Lankan heritage with the many training opportunities and exposure to community events they receive through participating in the Pageant. In the past two years she has extended this Pageant to the South Asian community and has now run five Miss Sri Lanka Australia Pageants and two Miss South Asia Australia Pageants. As part of the Pageant training program, she has participated in the Australia Day parades in Victoria and SA with the winners from both pageants for the past five years.

She created her own cultural fashion label Savish to promote traditional Sri Lankan garments and designs for the young, especially bridal wear. She provides advice on cultural celebrations for those who like their Melbourne weddings to be conducted in traditional Sri Lankan style. More recently, Dilkie joined the South Asian Designers in Australia and has conducted over 25 cultural bridal and fashion shows, also for the purpose of promoting cultural wear among young people.  

Dilkie’s South Asia Pageant is dedicated to promoting awareness against domestic violence. This year the pageant held on 16 September included a compulsory two-hour session on the problem. The program is run in partnership with the Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health (ACHRH). The Centre uses interstate coordinators for the program and participants in the Pageant from other states will have the opportunity to become interstate coordinators for the ACHRH. 

Dedicated to serving the community, Dilkie is supported by husband Hilmey Jainudeen and daughters Savindi and Vishni, who have been involved in community service from their early teens. Older daughter Savindi has already received many community service awards and has recently been appointed to the South Asian Ministerial Advisory Committee of the Victorian Multicultural Ministry. 

Dilkie now devotes her time to promoting South Asian youth as the next set of community leaders. Dilkie has demonstrated commendable service to her heritage and the Australian community and is a very worthy recipient of this award. Congratulations to Dilkie with best wishes for her enjoyment of the public recognition bestowed to her through the award.

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera
Dilki and husband with Sri Lankan community leaders

Dilki (Dilrukshie) PereraReceiving the award from Helen Kapalos

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

Dilki with family

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

The award

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

Dilki and family with Robin Scott MP

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

The Governor oversees proceedings

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

Dilki (Dilrukshie) Perera

Recipients of the award

Also posted on eLanka Facebook page – Click here to visit eLanka Facebook page

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My dream is to become a biomedical engineer and help elderly people: Dasith

CHULLORA’S Dasith Winayawariyage said his main aim to become a biomedical engineer is to help elderly people.

The 22-year-old is an ideal example that there are alternative pathways exist to help school leavers achieve their dream career even if their Higher School Certificate exam results don’t turn out the way they expected.

The Sri Lankan-born student migrated to Australia in 2014 with dreams of becoming a biomedical engineer, but didn’t have the qualifications needed to gain entry into university.

He was, however, determined not to let go of his dreams and completed a TAFE Statement in HSC studies at Randwick.

This provided a pathway for Mr Winayawariyage to complete further studies as he is now studying a Biomedical Engineering degree.

“There is no TAFE equivalent in Sri Lanka, so I am over the moon I have been accepted into university as my dream is to become a biomedical engineer and help elderly people,” Mr Winayawariyage said.

“In 2016 I started the TAFE Statement in HSC Studies course and completed six subjects across two years.

“I was fortunate enough to complete the course part time, which allowed me to take my time and focus all my efforts on achieving high results.

“I studied two unit mathematics, mathematics extension one and two, chemistry, physics and Standard English.

“I also studied a Certificate IV in English for Academic Purposes at TAFE NSW Ultimo to help improve my English reading and writing skills.”

He said his story serves as a timely reminder to others that, while the HSC is important, there are alternative pathways to help you be in a career you love

 

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“Birds of a feather”, (flock together) – By Des Kelly

Still another beautiful English phrase. Yes, birds (of the feathered variety), do flock together, and where better in, than in “Ceylon, my Island of dreams”?, another original composition of this writer. This most interesting article on 

“Endemic Bird-Life of Sri Lanka was forwarded to me, by a good friend, Maxwell Gerreyn, once again bringing back memories of our bird-watching days in Ceylon, as we knew it, in the magnificent “fifties”. Yes, Max & I did quite a lot of this pleasurable-pastime, watching “birds” of various-variety

and, not always, the feathered kind. 

     Still, let me hasten to add that this superb article was written by Vimukthi Fernando & also features renowned Naturalist Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, but readers, please excuse the left-hand marginal errors of this article, because, technically perfect as our “writings” should be, unforseen errors such as these do occur sometimes, annoying, although they are. To compensate for this annoyance, I will add, as I now do, with nearly every “story” I write, some beautiful music to enhance the “endemic bird-life of Sri Lanka”. 

Rich. That’s what you can call this small island nation Sri Lanka. It hides jewels not only in its soil but in the air as well. Famous for its biodiversity, the country boasts having 464 bird species (varieties) recorded of which 34 are found only within its shores. According to wildlife experts this is a huge claim for a small country. Endemic birds enthralled wildlife enthusiasts when renowned naturalist Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne recently delivered the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society’s (WNPS) monthly lecture titled, Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka. Here are some excerpts from the lecture and presentation.

What makes Sri Lanka a ‘super rich wildlife destination’?

Sri Lanka’s richness of wildlife rests in physical, evolutionary and human factors. Being an island with land bridges to the mainland had brought in a variety of wildlife into the country. The mountainous core and two diagonally blowing monsoons had created a luscious wet zone making it the richest rainforest in the region. The mountains also work as rain shadow creating dry conditions in other areas. The mountain ranges had further cut off some areas of the country isolating them as niches of specific biodiversity conditions. This had created ideal conditions for speciation or for wildlife to get conditioned to the specifics of a geographic area and evolve to be different from other members of the same group.

Thirty four bird species had been identified as ‘endemic’ in Sri Lanka. The number of endemics could change from time to time. Modern technology, such as, molecular studies had helped the identification of endemic birds. Molecular studies had revealed that the Ceylon White-eye is of a different origin and not a sister species of the Oriental White-eye, as was believed. It had also helped in identifying the Red-Backed Woodpecker as a different species.

Where do you find endemic birds in Sri Lanka?

Endemic birds of Sri Lanka could be found at the most unexpected areas if one is alert. Some species such as, the Ceylon Small Barbet could even be found in the heart of Colombo. Ceylon Red-backed Woodpecker is spread through three fourths of the country while the Ceylon Swallow could be seen throughout.

However, endemics are mostly found in the wet zone rainforest and montane area. Sinharaja, Kithulgala, Bodhinagala and Horton Plains are the best sites to visit for sighting of endemic birds.

The Sinharaja Bird Wave is the easiest place where one could see many endemic birds. A bird wave is a flock of birds from different species who move together foraging. The Sinharaja Bird Wave is a natural marvel and is called the largest mixed species flocks in the world. Unlike in other countries where bird waves are gone within minutes, the Sinharaja Bird Wave happens at a very leisurely pace and could last a few hours. On average, a bird wave consists of about 41 individual birds from 12 species. However, the number of species could be as high as 21. The Sinharaja bird wave acts like a super organism with a fascinating social structure with some species playing key roles. Different species occupy different levels of the canopy. Some are fruit eaters, some catch the insects, while others are omnivores. There are

different bird waves that form in different parts of the forest. They have their routine and their order of crossing. The Ceylon Crested Drongo is the species who calls the gathering and one of the first to cross along with Ceylon Rufous Babblers. Next in the order to cross over are the Ashy Headed Laughing Thrushes. The Red-faced Malkohas are some of the last species to cross and could be seen in the canopy. White-faced Starlings, Layard’s Parakeet, Ceylon Hanging Parrot are some of the birds who join the wave from time to time though not permanent members of any flock.

While most endemics could be found within the wet zone the Montane forest and the dry zone are not without its share of the birds. The Yellow-fronted Barbet, Ceylon Wood Pigeon and the Ceylon Whistling Thursh (Arenga) could be seen at Horton Plains.

Ceylon Bush Warbler, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Ceylon White Eye and Yellow Eared Bulbuls are some others found at higher elevations. The Ceylon Jungle fowl, Ceylon Green Pigeon, Ceylon Grey Hornbill and Ceylon Woodshrike are some of the endemic birds that frequent the dry zone.

Specialities of the endemic birds

Serendib Scops-Owl is a special bird, as it is a new species discovered in the early 2000s. They like secondary growth and could be found in places such as Morapitiya, close to human habitat. The Chestnut-backed Owlet is a day bird though many regard all owls as nocturnal.

Nine of the bird species show pronounced sexual dimorphism (difference of appearance between the two sexes) the Ceylon 

Jungle fowl, Layard’s Parakeet and Ceylon Spurfowl being a few species where the male appear bright coloured and beautiful. The Ceylon Blue Magpie sports face decoration different to that of the female.

They have specialities in behaviour as well. The Blue Magpies are social breeders where the juvenile birds help taking care of the younger broods. The Yellow Billed Babblers are social nesters, everyone pitching in to share in the nesting process. 

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“PUNS ARE FUN, TWO” – By Des Kelly

The ability to make and understand “puns” is considered to be the highest level of language development.

     Many moons ago, I had some fun with another article on “puns” 1, so naturally, I would title this one “Puns are fun, two”.

     A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead racoons. The stewardess looks at him and says “I am sorry,.Sir, only one carrion allowed, per passenger”.

     Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, “Dam”!.

     Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were feeling chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

     Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I’ve lost my electron”. The other asks, “are you sure”?, The first replies, “yes, I’m positive”.

     Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? , His goal:- transcend dental medication.

     A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of his office and asked them politely to disperse. “But why?”, they asked, as they moved off. “Because”, he said, I just can’t stand these chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer”.

     Mahata Gandhi, as you kniw, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of callauses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made hin rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered  from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

     Finally, there was this character who sent ten different puns to all his friends & family, with the hope that at least one of the puns done, would make them laugh.  NO PUN INTENDED. !!.

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