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DateLine Thursday, 24 May 2007

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Sri Lanka to participate in the biggest Scouts Jamboree in Malaysia

The biggest international Scouts Jamboree is scheduled to be in Malacca, Malaysia from May 26 (Saturday) to 31 (Thursday) 2007 with the participation of a large number of scouts from over 150 countries of the world.

Sri Lanka too will be represented with 11 scouts selected from a number of schools led by 2 leaders of the Scout Movement. This year 2007 is important to scouts the world over as this is the 150th birth anniversary of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the World Scouts Movement.

To millions of people the name of the founder has become an inspiration as the movement he created has contributed in no small measure to uplift the lot of the young people everywhere who will be the future citizens taking up the responsibility in society.

Lord Baden Powell born on February 22, 1857 passed away in 1941. By that time many countries of the world including Sri Lanka had the scout movement well and firmly established.

Along with many other countries Sri Lanka has saluted the scout movement by issuing commemorative stamps some of which are shown here. The stamps shown are from these countries; They are State of Oman, Republic of Guinie, Ras Al Khima, Jordan (triangular stamp), Grenada, Nicaragua, Somali Republic, St. Lucia, Dubai, Zaire and Rwanda.

It is topical to recall here that a similar Scout Jamboree was held in Thailand four years ago in which as many as 40,000 scouts from 187 countries participated. Sri Lanka’s contingent were as many as 126 scouts, 21 scout leaders and 10 officials.

By the way, we may add with pleasure that the chief scout of Sri Lanka is the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Scout Movement is one responsible organization which is committed to create better citizens for tomorrow.


Folk tales of Sri Lanka:

The crazy villager

In a remote village there lived a native medical practitioner - Vedarala - who was famous for curing patients suffering from mental disorders. Most of the villagers thought he had a cure-all wonder drug unknown to other practitioners.

Vedarala used to keep a number of patients at his dilapidated house. Everyday new patients came for treatment from near-by villages.

One day a mental patient climbed a jak tree and refused to come down. Vedarala pleaded with him several times to climb down the tree. But the patient put forward his demands.

“I’ll come down if you find a bride for me,” the mental patient said.

“There’s no problem, I’ll find a good looking bride for you if you come down “ Vedarala said.

“No. You have to bring a bride and the marriage registrar. Then you must ask them to climb the jak tree and register the marriage,” the patient said.

On hearing this, Vedarala lost his cool.

“I’ll cut down the jak tree if you don’t come down,” Vedarala said in a threatening voice.

The mental patient ignored Vedarala’s threat and started singing a song.

Meanwhile, another mental patient approached Vedarala and asked for his permission to speak to the man on the tree.

“Come down, otherwise I’ll cut down the tree,” he threatened the man on the tree.

Without any protest he climbed down the jak tree. Vedarala who was surprised asked him why he obeyed another patient so meekly.

“Sir, being a sensible man you will never cut down this jak tree. But I was frightened by that mental patient’s threat because he was sure to do it,” he said.


Flowers for granny!

There was a pastor who used to wear a rose on his lapel of his suit, every Sunday. The rose was brought by a person who came to the church.

Because he always got this flower on Sunday morning, the pastor did not think much of it. It was a nice gesture he appreciated but, it had become routine.

One Sunday however what considered ordinary became special. As the pastor was leaving the Sunday service, a child approached him. He walked right up to the pastor and said -

“Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?

At first the pastor did not know what the child was talking about, but then he understood.

The pastor asked: Do you mean this pointing to the rose pinned to his coat.

The child said: Yes sir, “I would like if you are just going to throw it away”. At this point the pastor smiled and gladly told him that he could have his flower, casually asking him what he was going to do with it. The boy looked up at the pastor and said, “Sir, I’m going to give it to my grandmother. My mother and father got divorced last year.

I was living with my mother, but when she married again, she waned me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I could not stay, so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me.

She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I want to give that pretty flower to her for loving me”.

When the little boy finished, the pastor could hardly speak. His eyes filled with tears and he knew he had been touched in the depths of his soul. He reached up and unpinned his flower. With the flower in his hand, he looked at the boy and said, “Son, that is the nicest thing I have ever heard, but you can’t have this flower because it’s not enough.

If you’ll look in front of the pulpit, you’ll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because she deserves the very best”.

The boy said, “What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet”.

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