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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