Life around Panama and Okanda A shrine stands on a boulder at Okanda Devalaya Source:Sundayobserver The less beaten track from Panama to Okanda, one of my favourite places in the wilds and heritage sites of Sri Lanka, is an adventure in itself. It is an amazing place; it has not changed in many years. My first encounter with the region goes back to the 2000s, just after the Peace Accord was signed between the Government and the LTTE. Those days there were no roads, no phones and it is still in the same elemental state as it was centuries ago. But the people are so generous and are blossoming in their new life in a peaceful environment. History chronicles that they are descendants of the rebels in the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion of 1818 who took refuge in this forested land. Some of these people just return to their ancestral lands to ...

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Natural Reserve over 40 years ago-by Lyn de Alwis Source:Island And at last we arrived at Rugamtota! We were on the threshold of Yala’s wonderland beyond the Menik Ganga, with its vast plains from which rose the rock massifs of Banawelkema, Mayagala and Muduntalawa. There had been many a time when I sat on a fallen kumbuk log in front of our Kosgasmankada camp and gazed at the thick jungle across the river, roadless, impenetrable except on foot and with only rock caves to shelter in. I would go there one day! I thought. Here I was, with the cream of Yala’s fearless men: K. David, W.L.A. Piyadasa and Kirineris led by the most senior Game Ranger and tough leader, G.N.Q. de Silva. We forded the river with much difficulty, our groaning jeep protesting loudly as we revved up the steep bank of Menik Ganga, there being no easy bridges ...

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