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Thursday, 13 August 2009

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Preserve ancient archaeological remains

I bemoan the lethargy displayed by those officials of the Government who are concerned with the preservation and maintenance of important archaeological remains.

A slackness and indifference seem to pervade in their approach. Archaeological remains serve as an important evidence of past events and it is the duty of the State to take action to preserve such records, with intense care and attention. Because their loss would be a loss to the posterity and the entire nation.

I presume that the charge against the officials of the Department of Archaeology is quite reasonable as these officials have failed to show any reciprocal action on information conveyed to them by me regarding the ruins of an ancient fortress remaining at Girihagama.

Girihagama is a village in the Kandy district situated on the right side, overlooking the Galagedera Pass. It is situated strategically on top of the ‘Girihagamakanda’, now more popularly known as ‘Kopiwattekande’ and the area of the fortress covers a space area of about 800 metres.

The establishment of this fortress goes as far back as the reign of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1746-1779) and had served as an important location of war in repulsing the enemies. Presently, a Buddhist nun has come into the occupation of this location and has turned the premises into an ‘aramaya’ named as ‘Keerthi Sri Rajasingharamaya’ thus submerging the historical and archaeological importance of the fortress.

Could the authorities concerned initiate suitable action for the preservation and reservation of this important location.

Jayatissa Banda Girihagama - Kumburegama


Gamini Iriyagolla

In its true sense this is not an appreciation of Gamini Iriyagolla - the historian, civil servant and the lawyer. The writer is not suitably competent and eligible to do so as he was not well-known to him. The only association I had with him was my talking with him on several occasions when some of his writings on varied subjects like - terrorism of LTTE, Tamil Extremists’ for a separate State, Tamil homeland in North and East of Sri Lanka, the truth about the Mahaweli etc, appeared in a newspaper. On hearing of the news that about the assassination of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran by our valiant Armed Forces in a marshland of Nanthikadal lagoon off Mullaitivu on May 19, reminded me of some of the patriotic apolitical citizens who were in the Vanguard of the struggle against the LTTE terrorism from its very inception as early as 1976.

Gamini Iriyagolla, S. L. Gunasekera, Prof. Nalin de Silva, Gamini Weerakoon were among the leaders in this group. Gamini would have been one of the happiest to witness this event. Therefore, it is our gratitude to remember him at this memorable occasion. My homage to this intellect for the unforgettable services he had rendered to the Sri Lankan Nation.

C. A. A. Gunaratne - Thimbirigaskatuwa


KP’s arrest

Great, now how about arresting MIA the untalented hip hop singer who is hiding in USA? During the past month of May when Sri Lankan Forces were finally winning the war against terrorism, MIA cried for help to save her alleged Uncle Prabhakaran in the national media here in USA.

If someone cried for help to save Bin Laden from being arrested that person for sure would be arrested at any country in the Western world, so why not put pressure to arrest MIA too, who is known to send her music $$ to the LTTE terrorists’ bank accounts. Of course, after the elimination of the terrorists MIA has gone into hiding.

Evan Balasuriya - USA


Only in other countries!

Since we are fighting against dengue and trying to keep the country/city clean, I hate to notice the garbage that is piled up on the side of the roads and specially on the way to the Asiri Surgical Hospital. I don’t know why the hospital can’t take the initiative and clean the place. If you are going to see a patient at the Asiri Surgical Hospital, there are chances you could get sick on your way to the hospital. You can’t miss this place. It is right next to the railway crossing. People who throw garbage on the roads and elsewhere should be fined.

Every household should be given two containers, one for garbage and other for recycling. If you give too many containers people may not cooperate as it would be a waste of time on their part. Also the city should place some containers in certain areas for the people who do not have these containers so they won’t be throwing it on the roads, instead they could put it inside the containers which could be collected by the garbage collectors.

As Sri Lankans, we are not disciplined to put the garbage in the proper place. But the same Sri Lankans who visit/live in other countries abide the rules. If the Government or authorities impose strict laws just like other countries, Sri Lanka will be a cleaner place to live.

GAMINI - via email


Professor N. Ratnapala


Mother Lanka weeps at her lost sons great
You are a star among them who shared this fate
Bright and solitarily you stood out among them great
Who is not in debt to Lanka about whom we boast
You are missed as a teacher, scholar and guide
Hundreds, nay thousands speak of methods
and means you found
To enhance the know-how of Lanka’s sons and kind
Here on our soil, and miles beyond
No matter what some critics speak in words unkind
You bravely faced your world of knowledge and mind
A unique gift to Motherland, generations may not find
To serve so selfessly in affairs of mankind
Problems and conflicts in society held your eagle gaze
Crimes and offensive drugs, smoking that set ablaze
Young minds to be misled by one’s won adult race
‘Shame’ and ‘foul’ you cried irrespective of
position, place
Now you are gone but your mission lives on
Your family misses you most, as memories linger on,
May be you have ended your sojourn, to be reborn
On your way here to add more to your store
One thing is clear as we all track back to the shore
There won’t be another ‘NR’ to counter your score.

Neetha S. Ratnapala

Dedicated to the memory of Professor N. Ratnapala whose second death anniversary and commemoration lecture was on August 10.


Fifty years ago at Peradeniya


Celebrating golden jubilee anniversaries is rare indeed
Be it weddings, joining or leaving school or any other
And it is with pride that the batch of ’59 at Varsity
Pera celebrated same on fourth where all did gather.


The event was held to mark fifty years of our entry
To the Arts Faculty of the only uni in Ceylon at that time.
All of us who were there still recall with vivid memory
The time we spent at the university in salubrious clime.


Quite a contrast to the undergrad life in campus today
We enjoyed the best period in a unique university
All students resident in halls in campus to study
No overcrowding and facilities to be enjoyed fully.


The three four years we spent in Peradeniya Campus
Could never be erased from memory of any undergrad
At that period spent in university without any rumpus
And friendships that were made to be for life we are glad.


We are not sure as to how many are still with us
For certain we know a few have left for world beyond.
And we are also waiting on the departure lounge
With boarding pass ready for some day to join the flight.


Though a lot knew the shelves and books in the library
A few of us had other things to do after lectures
Sports attracted a good number to the grounds and gym
Whilst others went for strolls down the lane for lovers.


A look at sports to see how our batch fared in games
Cricket took the lead in attracting a good number of men
Whilst the cinder track too had a few men and dames
The other sports too had batchmates, men and women.


Uni life is not meant to be spent in sports alone
Though without sports it makes Jack a dull boy.
It is studies that doings in uni are measured by anyone
So consider the biggest achievements of batch going by.

H.M. Nissanka Warakaulle ,Alumnus (1959-1962) , Marcus Fernando Hall

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