Protecting Sri Lankan Rights: The Modern Saga of Shipwreck “Avondster” – by Michael Roberts   Source:thuppahis.com The curtain rises: One morning in 2002 I received a call from the Additional Director General, Central Cultural Fund (CCF), Mr. H. D. S. Hettipathirana, to discuss a glitch in the Avondster project which was due to get off the ground. I was, then, wearing several hats: Consultant (to the CCF) and Special Advisor (to the Director-General, Archaeology) on Maritime Archaeology; and member of the Advisory Committee to the Ministry. I was also a member of ICUCH (the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage) and had been involved in the formulation of both the ICOMOS Charter and the UNESCO International Convention on the Underwater Cultural Heritage. Neither I – nor anyone else in the country – had had any maritime archaeological training: I was the proverbial one-eyed man in the kingdom of the ...

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Buddhist Railing at Jetawana Monastery – unique structure of yesteryear By Arundathie Abeysinghe   Located approximately 120 meters south of Jetawanarama (also known as Jetawanaramaya stupa or Buddhist reliquary monument) and located in the ruins of *Jetawana Monastery in the UNESCO world heritage city of *Anuradhapura, there is a structure known as “Buddhist Railing” which has been researched and analyzed by many scholars, authors and travelers from the period, the British discovered it in the 1800’s. This site is enclosed by a large railing made of stone slabs and pillars. According to the Archeological Commissioner’s Report of 1890, *H.C.P. Bell has discovered and restored this unique site. According to scholars, the stone fence is a Buddhist motif found in ancient Buddhist architecture including *Sanchi in India. According to *Mahawamsa, there had been a *Bodhi tree inside this structure and King Dappula II (797-801) had donated a golden Buddha Image to ...

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International Mother Language Day: 21 February Source:Brisbane 4EB Sri Lankan Newsletter – Dæhæna – february2022 International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002. International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO believes education, based on the first language or mother tongue, must begin from the early years as early childhood care and education is the foundation of learning. Last year’s observance was a call on policymakers, educators and teachers, parents and families to scale up their commitment to multilingual education, and inclusion in education to advance education recovery in the context of COVID-19. This effort also contributes to the United Nations International Decade of ...

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World Radio Day: 13 February By Dr. Himaya S.W.A. Source:Brisbane 4EB Sri Lankan Newsletter – Dæhæna – february2022 Radio plays a critical role at global level and form the most widely consumed medium forming democratic channels to communicate information, transmission and revitalisation of languages and celebrate humanity. World Radio Day is dedicated to celebrate and mark the importance of radio to the global community. World Radio Day was proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day. Since then communities around the world celebrate world radio day on February 13th. This day was selected as the World Radio Day as it corresponds to the date of creation of the United Nations Radio on 13 February 1946. According to leading global reports radio continues to be the most trusted and accessible media in the world. Therefore, this ...

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Queen’s Tower – alluring colonial legacy in Delft Island By Arundathie Abeysinghe Located in Delft Island approximately 30 kilometers off the west coast of the Jaffna Peninsula, Delft Island (also known as Neduntivu or Neduntheeve meaning Long Island or Large Island) is the second largest island in Sri Lanka with a history spanning over a thousand years dating to the period of the *Chola Dynasty. Initially occupied by the Chola Dynasty, the Portuguese and the Dutch in the 17th century and thereafter by the British, Delft Island is a stark contrast to the landscape of the mainland Sri Lanka, a unique and extraordinary place. The Island is abundant with colonial legacy. There is also a *Baobab tree in the Island, one of the several Baobab trees in Sri Lanka brought to *Ceylon by the seafaring Arab traders and regarded as the longest-lived tree species on earth. Among the colonial remnants, ...

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Deforestation in Sinharaja and elsewhere; It is time the President took action – By Raj Gonsalkorale   Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a forest reserve and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sinharaja is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. 50% of Sri Lankan’s endemics species of animals (especially butterfly, amphibians, birds, snakes and fish species). It is home to 95% endemic birds -Wikipedia By Raj Gonsalkorale The Sinharaja forest is the country’s most priceless jewel that belongs to the future generations to come. Any person or entity that has destroyed this jewel has committed a crime where punishment is useless as this forest and its bio diversity can never be regenerated by punishing anyone after the event. ...

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Oman – The Oldest Independent State In The Arab World – by Dharmasiri Ehelepola The oldest independent state in the Arab world, is a 1700 km long coastal plain at the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula lying bordering the Arabian Sea and the gulf of Oman. Barely inland from the coast, formidable mountains stand guard. A massive upheaval in the ocean floor hundreds of millions of years ago formed these mountains, producing modern Oman, one of the most colorful and geologically diverse countries on earth. The three bordering countries are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The official name of the country is Sultanate of Oman. A country that has , white sandy beaches, rocky mountain range, sandy desert area,wadis,palm-fringed oasis, and natural landscape. Trees and green grass lawns are a common feature, amazing for a country known as an oil rich desert. Arabic is the official language, English ...

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Kadugannawa Pass and Rock Tunnel – gateway to hill country By Arundathie Abeysinghe   Kadugannawa Pass and Rock Tunnel are important landmarks on Colombo – Kandy Road. Kadugannawa is considered as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site Kandy as well as Central Highlands. Highest point of the climb of Colombo – Kandy Road is known as Kadugannawa Pass, a lookout point of the Kandyan Kingdom to monitor invading foreign forces in the 16th and 17th centuries from the lowlands of Sri Lanka. Kadugannawa had been an outpost of the Kandyan Kingdom and many battles have taken place in this historic town in the past. Known as Gala Vidapu Thena by locals (meaning the rock that was pierced in Sinhala), the Rock Tunnel had been a symbol of Colombo – Kandy road from time immemorial. Kadugannawa Pass is situated between Kandy Valley and *Kegalle Valley and for centuries this pass ...

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