Connect with us

news

Discover the Wonders of Wilpattu National Park via Wildlife Streaming

Published

on

The Wilpattu National Park goes live on 24 and 26 September with the ‘Couch Safari’ which takes viewers on a wildlife streaming tour of Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park, allowing them to experience the wonders of Wilpattu from the safety of their homes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has indefinitely postponed travel plans for many tourists and Sri Lankans alike. Sri Lanka Tourism and the Department of Wildlife and Conservation together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH teamed up to design this initiative with the aim of promoting Sri Lanka’s wildlife to the world whilst offering a glimpse of what awaits them, once it is safe to travel again.

“In a time where most travel plans are put on hold, we are excited to showcase our national parks to the world once again via “couch safari” by partnering up with GIZ and the Department of Wildlife and Conservation,” said Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, Kimarli Fernando.

With the successful completion of the novel ‘Couch Safari’ initiative by Sri Lanka Tourism, the team behind this project hopes to showcase what Wilpattu National Park holds in store for the viewers, who can enjoy Sri Lanka’s amazing wildlife from the safety of their homes. Presented by wildlife experts in Sri Lanka, the first live streaming of Wilpattu National Park is scheduled on 24th September 2021 4.00 PM- 5.00 PM IST (+5.30 GMT) and the second live streaming on 26th September 2021 7.30AM -8.30- AM IST (+5.30 GMT). Viewers can tune into the live stream via www.facebook.com/GIZSriLanka.

The project “Supporting Wilpattu National Park and Influence Zone Management in Sri Lanka” is implemented by the Department of Wildlife Conservation of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project combines the conservation efforts within the Wilpattu National Park with the sustainable development of its influence zones. The project aims to improve Wilpattu National Park’s management capacity with emphasis on the Park Operations, Environmental and Visitor Use Programmes, in technical and specialist terms, in support of the Wilpattu National Park Management Plan (2019-2024).

Wilpattu National Park is located 30 km west of Anuradhapura and is well known among local and foreign visitors as one of the best places to watch the elusive and charismatic largest cat of Sri Lanka; the Leopard. It is one of the oldest and largest national parks declared in 1938, covering an extent of 131,693 hectares. The Park is known for its archeological heritage but much of the archeological evidence is taken over by the jungles. Out of all the ecological features of Wilpattu, the natural water holes identified as Villus are very unique to the park as these water pools cannot be found anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Villus are the main scenic attraction and animal activities around it enhance the value of this unique habitat of Wilpattu. Wilpattu National Park has recorded some 605 flowering plant species harboring rich floristic heritage of the dry zone flora of Sri Lanka. A total of 41 species of mammals have been recorded in Wilpattu, 149 species of birds, 17 species of amphibians and 57 species of reptiles. Venomous snakes such as vipers, cobras, and kraits as well as the rare and near threatened Chameleon lizard are also recorded from the scrub habitats of Wilpattu.

Join the Couch Safari and experience Wilpattu National Park from your home, as wildlife experts explain the mysteries of the land and its creatures in this exciting wildlife escapade.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

No immediate hike in fuel prices – Udaya

Published

on

Finance Minister rules out bailout package for CPC

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa has told Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila that the Treasury is not in a position to assist the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). However, there would not be a fuel price hike in the short term, the Minister of Energy told the media yesterday.

Minister Gammanpila said that if a fuel hike was on the cards, he would announce it publicly.

“This is what I did last time also. This time around, I have told the people that we are facing a serious problem. We incur a loss of Rs. 15 on a litre of petrol and a loss of Rs 16 on a litre of diesel. The Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has asked for a price increase,” he said.

Gammanpila said he told the Chairman of the CPC that they should first seek assistance from the Treasury. Given that prices of all essential items had increased, a significant increase in fuel prices would cause great inconvenience to the people, he said.

“At the last Cabinet meeting, I asked the Finance Minister for assistance. He said it was hard to provide assistance and was non-committal. I will again take the matter up at the next Cabinet meeting,” he said.

The government was discussing the possibility of obtaining a 3.6 billion US dollar credit line for fuel from Oman. Sri Lanka spent around USD 300 million on oil imports per month and the credit line would allow for a year of fuel supply at concessionary rates, the Minister said.

“If we get this credit line, we should be able to weather this storm. Otherwise, I will ask the Cabinet for relief. While people are suffering, we can’t also let the CPC go bankrupt. If CPC goes bust, the People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon will be in deep trouble too,” the Minister said.

Gammanpila added that there was no point in queuing at fuel stations because a decision to increase fuel takes a few months to be approved. For example the previous hike in June was first proposed in April. “If takes a few months for such a proposal to be approved and implemented. I was told that people were queuing at fuel stations last Monday and Wednesday.”

Continue Reading

news

JVP calls for multi-agency probe into Rs. 4 bn. Gin-Nilwala scam

Published

on

Ex Prez can assist inquiry

By Shamindra Ferdinando

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says a comprehensive multi-agency investigation is required to get to the bottom of what he called the massive Gin Nilwala scam perpetrated in 2012 and 2015.

In spite of disclosures in that regard, both in and outside Parliament, over a period of time, absolutely nothing had been done so far, lawmaker Dissanayake told The Island.

The government owed an explanation why over Rs 4 bn had been paid to a Chinese firm, in Dec 2012, and on January 7, 2015, as the project was yet to get off the ground, MP Dissanayake said.

The JVPer said that he felt the need to highlight the Gin Nilwala scam against the backdrop of the Pandora Papers exposure of former Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa’s husband, Thirukumar Nadesan, as the Chinese company, allegedly involved in the Gin Nilwala project had moved money to a foreign account, in Hong Kong, held by the businessman.

Asked whether the Gin Nilwala scam, too, had been dealt by Pandora Papers, MP Dissanayake said as far as he knew Pandora Papers’ disclosure didn’t include the Gin Nilwala project.

Responding to another query, lawmaker Dissanayake said that though the then President Maithripala Sirisena questioned the Gin Nilwala project, the yahapalana government never investigated the issue properly.

MP Dissanayake said it wouldn’t be a difficult task to establish the transferring to a foreign account of Rs one bn in Dec 2012 and the over Rs. 3 bn on January 7, 2015, the day before the presidential election. Since the release of Pandora Papers, the video footage of former President Sirisena, now an SLPP MP, on the Gin Nilwala project had gone viral, the MP said.

The JVP leader said that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) should inquire into the matter as part of the ongoing examination of matters relating to Thirukumar Nadesan in respect of Pandora Papers.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Oct. 06 instructed CIABOC to inquire into Sri Lankans mentioned in Pandora Papers. Nadesan, too, also on the same day, asked President Rajapaksa to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations by appointing a retired Appeals Court Judge for the task. The CIABOC has recorded Nadesan’s statement in this regard.

MP Dissanayake alleged that successive governments had conveniently turned a blind eye to major cases of corruption. The very basis of parliamentary control over public finance was under threat, MP Dissanayake said, urging the government to take remedial measures or face the consequences. “Billions of rupees had been moved around, misappropriated and squandered. Those responsible for ensuring the proper practices are accused of exploiting the system. What is happening now is tragic,” MP Dissanayake said.

The JVPer said that examination of proceedings of the COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises), COPA (Committee on Public Finance) and COPF (Committee on Public Finance) since the last general election revealed a frightening situation. The reports before the last general election were no exception, the parliamentarian said, the level of corruption in the public sector and the private-public sector joint ventures was horrifying. The national economy was being mercilessly exploited by persons holding office, the JVP leader said, the CIABOC could examine proceedings of the parliamentary watchdog committees if it was genuinely interested in stamping out corruption.

MP Dissanayake said that the national economy was in such a desperate situation thanks to decades of waste, corruption, irregularities and negligence on the part of political parties in power. “Today, we are seeking finance assistance from various countries. Recently, Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris revealed he discussed ways and means to overcome financial crisis with the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary,” he said.

Continue Reading

news

Inter-provincial travel restrictions extended to Oct 21

Published

on

Inter-provincial travel restrictions have been extended to October 21, the Presidential Media Division (PMD) said issuing a press release yesterday.

The PMD added that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had instructed the security forces to strictly enforce the inter-province travel restrictions during the weekend.

The decision was taken at the COVID-19 Prevention Committee meeting held Friday (15) morning.

Continue Reading

Trending