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Thursday, 28 July 2011






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International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Dear Children,

Do you know that the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9.

Indigenous people are referred to the Wanniyal Atto or Veddahs of Sri Lanka, the aborigines of Australia and Maoris of New Zealand.

Veddha children. File photo

Indigenous cultures around the world are recognized on this day which also recognizes their achievements and contributions to solve world issues, such as, environmental protection.

Dear children, you would have learnt in school about the various types of indigenous people’s around the world.

I am sure you find these lessons very interesting. These peoples go back to pre-historic times.

Indigenous people are an important part of our culture and history. It is our duty to help protect their rights and due place in society.

People from different nations are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples. Events may include messages from the UN Secretary General and other key leaders, performances by indigenous artists and panel discussions on reconciliation.

On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed on August 9 annually during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In 2004 the assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014). The assembly also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade.

The decade’s goal was to further strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, social and economic development.

Bye for now.

Aunt Anji

Another Time Traveller

Hello everybody,

We have already read about a time traveller who invented a time machine and travelled to the future. This week we’re going to read about another time traveler who travelled to the past!

This time traveller, Hank Morgan is from the 19th century America. Now that is already the past for us. Anyway, in the story we’re going to read, ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’, by a very popular writer Mark Twain, Hank travels to the 6th Century England and lands in King Arthur’s court!

Maybe you have already heard of the king and the knights in his round table. Have you heard of Sir Launcelot, Sir Galahad and Merlin the magician? Hank has heard of all of them and he actually gets an opportunity to visit them and see them for real! Don’t you think that’s very exciting!

When Hank visits the 6th century England what actually happens to him? What are the adventures he has? Will he get back to his own time or will he spend the rest of his life in a world 13 centuries older than his own? That’s a really long time, isn’t that?

This book was published in 1889, towards the end of the 19th century. I think you know that this was an era in which science was developing fast in the world, especially in Europe and the Americas.

With the development of science and new technology, people were interested in science fiction, and many science fiction books about time travelling, aliens and such topics were published in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the late 20th centuries science fiction was very popular in Sri Lanka too. I remember, many children and even adults loved reading books by Arthur C Clerk and other science fiction writers. Besides, this was an era in which the television was very popular in our country and many people used to watch science fiction movies such as the X-files, Spell Binders, and Ocean Girl that were extremely popular television programmes those days.

The Moby books edition of ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ is adapted by Lucia Monfried. The author Mark Twain is the famous American writer who authored other great books such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, equally loved by many children and adults all over the world.

Have a great visit to King Arthur’s Court!

Bye for now


History of Yal Devi - the princess of Jaffna

Originally planned in the late 1890s during the time of the British, the Northern railway line of Sri Lanka was the artery that connected the North with the rest of the country. The 158 Km railway line was built with two sides Kankeranthurai (K.K.S) and Vavuniya.

On August 1,1905 Thursday, the Northern railway line was completed as the tracks were joined together at Palai, from about 50 years thereafter to date the Northern railway line is synonymous with the legendry ‘Yal Devi’ (The Princess of Jaffna) train, that travel between Colombo and Jaffna, which was launch on April 23,1956.

Complete with 16 stations and 12 sub stations, the Northern railway line formed the backbone of national unity and integration, having many years two night mail train, four express trains, six goods trains, a special weekend train, Intercity and many local sub-urban trains. The railway line became a channel and a proponent for trade, business, educational, friendship, communication and trust.

The Northern parts of Sri Lanka spearheaded by Jaffna became a bustling mega city of geographic, social, cultural and economic diversity.

About 30 years ago on January 19, 1985 terrorists struck the ‘Yal Devi ‘ train, killing people and destroying the tracks and severing the North with rest of the country. The subsequence escalation of unfortunate conditions saw the last Yal Devi train travelling to Jaffna on June 13,1990 and it had no way of returning to Colombo.

During this unfortunate period, even the road transport was destroyed. The integration and between North and South was no more, the bound and interaction was broken and the artery was severed.

For almost 30 years, generations grew in isolation, with no understanding and trust, the railway tracks were now covered with ashes and sand and it went nowhere. The stations with monumental prosperity of development were no more.

Uthuru Mithru, rebuilding the Yal Devi friendship tracks, is a project initiated by the government to rebuild the Yal Devi track, to once again connect the North and the South. The project aims to build a modern railway line that will provide a fast and reliable connection for passengers and goods from Vavuniya to Kankesanthure.

The railway line extending 158Km will include 85 bridges, 58, culverts, 16 stations and 12 sub stations. Some of the main stations such as Vavuniya, Jaffna, Kilinochichi and Mankulam will be noted down to be developed. Also Palali Airport, Jaffna Port and tourism are noted for development which will lead to social, economic and cultural reintegration and everlasting peace.

Alfred Edwin , 8 Science A , O.K.I International School , Wattala

A cartoon character Snow time Flowerpot
Mohammed Rizkhan Rasheed
5A, Sailan International School
B Shobiya
Grade 6, Kingston College International
Colombo 15
Fathima Hikma Aliyar
2A, Sailan International School
Design My house Flower garden
4A, Sailan International School
Jemimah Keziah
Grade 3
Kingston College International
Mutwal, Colombo 15
B Minuki Dewuhara Bulathsinhala
Grade 1
Minu/Horagasmulla Primary College
Wildlife Skin-diver
Yasara Thamarasie Walpita
Primary Section
Ashoka College, Horana
Zaheer Akram
Grade 5
Sailan International School

The Cub Scouts of Royal College (Group 42 Colombo) who received their Bronze stars recently pose for a group photo with the staff in charge Chandra Irangani Perera and Keerthi Bandara Akela.
The Narithasan Kindergarten held their annual English Day programme recently. Here, children of Saman Class performing at the event.
The Kingston College International (Mutwal branch) held its English Day and Science exhibition recently, presided over by the Chairman of the College Dr T Kumaraverl. Associate Editor of the Sunday Observer R S Karunaratne was the chief guest. Here Grade 6, 7, 8 students participating in a drama titled ‘Obstructive hat’ and Chairman Kumaraverl, chief guest Karunaratne, Principal of the College Soundaram, LKG students and teacher in charge Poorani Sivapragasam viewing the students’ exhibits.


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