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Dr. Ajantha Ranasinghe:



The Unsurpassable Wordsmith

by SVD Kesarralal Gunasekera

‘What a beautiful and remarkable human being’ is what comes to my mind every time I think of Dr. Ajantha Ranasinghe. He was an award-winning lyricist, a journalist, a writer and a critic. But what really is etched in my mind is what he was as a human being. There is so much to learn from his life. I am not appreciating him solely because he was a popular personality but because of his unassuming personality that made our lives so complete.

Lyricist par excellence

Dr. Ajantha was a fantastic lyricist. His style, as well as the varieties, are unique. He has been a lyricist for the Sinhala cinema for decades. As a young student, when we watched films ‘Lyrics: Ajantha Ranasinghe’ would appear on the big screen. From ‘Gamey Kopi Kade’ (Sanath Nandasiri) type of upbeat songs, which creates a series of images in our minds about a small coffee stall in a village, to ’Paarami Dam Puramu api denna’ (Neela Wickramasinghe) which speaks about affection of siblings, and to ‘Kalpana lowa mal waney’ (Abeywardhana Balasooriya) which expresses the depths of romantic love, Dr. Ajantha had the ability to select the words suitable for each singer. He had a rich vocabulary from which he culled the right words and turned it into a song.

Not only did he bring Buddhist philosophy into his songs, in ‘Mey Ayurin Api Sansarey’ (T M Jayaratne), but he was equally brilliant in writing “Bodhu Gee” which touched the souls of the people. ‘Nirvana Swarna Dwarayen’ (Sanath Nandasiri) and ‘Uththama Muni Dalada wadammana’ (Dharmadasa Walpola) are two such songs which are still so popular.

Film songs

In the golden era of the Sinhala Cinema, his songs made each film unforgettable. songs were the thread that kept the entire film together. ‘Ran Kenden Banda’ (Duhulu Malak) is a fine example of packaging the entire film in a song. ‘Mala Gira’ and ‘Dedunnen Ena Samanalune’ (Vasanthey Dawasak) are still popular and memorable. In the later years, he wrote songs like ‘ Villuda Punchi Depa’ (Mamai Raja) which were ideal for the movie. Dr. Ajantha was able to relate to the storyline. His lyrics were the icing on the cake. It adorned the film and enhanced its quality. No other lyricist could even match that capability. Dr. Ajantha has contributed over 300 songs to the Sinhala cinema, starting from 1976.

Love songs

Generations of lovers have enjoyed his songs for their ability to pull the heart strings. We all remember the song ‘May Mai Gaha Yata’ (Milton Mallawarachchi) which was based on personal experience. ‘Adara Samarum’ (Sanath Nandasiri). He brought his experiences and makes them universal. He was someone who loved deeply and was able to relate to human feelings. ‘Suwanda Deni’ (Rookantha Gunatillake) brings out the uneasy, delightful feeling of being in love. Undoubtedly, this song showed the world what a great singer Rookantha is, as the song required the singer to be so disciplined to deliver the feelings embedded. Love songs are difficult to write unless one has both received and given love in abundance to be able to express it. Also, one must have the language skill and the proficiency to express it in words. Dr. Ajantha belonged to that era of people who loved and were able to share that love.

The Humanist

I have spent time with Dr. Ajantha at various gatherings. He had the mildest of manners. He would address persons as ‘Mahathmaya’ all the time. Irrespective of how close we were, he addressed me as ‘ mahathmaya’ or Mr. Gunasekera. He was someone who always gave respect to others. During these occasions, he would narrate so many stories. He was a warehouse of anecdotes that drew everyone’s attention. Even when we gathered at his home, he recalled story after story about incidents of the past, homourous events and also stories about famous personalities. None of the stories were to slander anyone, but to appreciate and enjoy.

I still recall a story that he said about late HR Jothipala. He said that a cigarette company approached HR Jothipala once, requesting him to appear in a cigarette advertisement.The opportunity would have given him a lot of money for endorsing a certain brand. But his response was ‘Just because I smoke, why should I ask others also to smoke?’. Thus, he declined the offer.


As a human being, one of the greatest things we can do for others is to create peace. Dr. Ajantha had the natural talent and the heart to do so. There was a time, in history, when Dharmadasa Walpola had had a fall out with the SLBC. He had been so disheartened that he had given up singing and had opened a small shop. When Dr. Ajantha had penned the song ‘Uththama Muni Dalada’ and shown it to Sanath Nandasiri, he has said that if there is anyone who can sing this song, it is none other than Dharmadasa Walpola. Dr. Ajantha had gone in search of this fabulous singer who refused to sing the song. Dr. Ajantha, knowing the talent that Dharmadasa had, was determined to bring him back into the music scene. He had given the lyrics and told that Sanath Nandasiri is composing the music. While getting back on the scooter, he had told him the time at which the recording will be done at SLBC and left the sheet of paper with lyrics with Dharmadasa Walpola. His parting words were “Dharmadasa Ayya, remember that there is a universal norm that only one artiste is born among one hundred thousand births, and that one artist is not placed on earth to ‘run a shop’, but to perform for the people!”

On the day of the recording, when Dharmadasa Walpola came to SLBC the Director General H M Gunasekera, personally came out to receive him. And with one take, the recording was done. That is how we regained Dharmadasa Walpola to the Sri Lanka music field, thanks to Dr. Ajantha.

A lessor known fact is that he was also a grade C singer at the SLBC. He had a natural talent to think music when he penned the words. During his time, through all his lyrics, he brought the composer and the singer together. He used his penmanship to bring people together. And there was no competition among the three parties. They all had one goal, to create a song that will live forever.

Dr. Ajantha has written songs for almost all the veteran singers in our music industry, such as W.D Amaradeva, Victor Ratnayake, Milton Mallwarachchi, Malini Bulathsinhala, Indrani Perera, Sanath Nandasiri, HR Jothipala, Nanda Malini, T M Jayaratne, Neela Wickramasinghe, Clarence Wijewardhana, Latha and Dharmadasa Walpola. But it must be noted that he has grown together with the young generation, as well, such as Nirosha Virajini, Rookantha and Chandralekha. The only hit song which Raj Seneviratne had ‘ Sili Sili Seethala Alley’ was also written by Dr. Ajantha. One can only be awed by the variety of songs and the types of songs he has written and how he is able to relate to the feelings of both males and females when it came to lyrics. And he worked with composers such as Premasiri Khemadasa, Sarath Dassanayake, Somadasa Elwitigala and Sanath Nandasiri to bring forth different types of melodies.

The Journalist

Dr Ajantha was also a successful journalist. At a very young age he wrote poetry and short stories for the children’s pages of the Silumina and Peramuna and contributed to programmes on the SLBC. His poetry was frequently published in the Silumina, Vanitha Viththi, and Lankadeepa. Eventually, he was selected as a staff reporter for the Dinamina. He was a both a provincial news editor and local news editor at the Dinamina. He served as an Editor, at Lake House, for 25 years. He also worked as a Features editor of Janatha and also the Editor-in-Chief of Nawayugaya. Dr. Ajantha was well read and he loved working. In his later years, he was a consultant at the SLBC. His journalistic career shows the length and breadth of his experience and knowledge that enabled him to be a great writer.

He has also written short stories and poems which have been published. Landuni Mata Varam Natha (1975),Vinkal Bass (1978), Kristhuni Karunakara Manawa (1995), Sihina Kumara Saha Othamo (2009),Thunpath Rata, Thiwanka Rekha (1964), Janakanthayinge Manakantha Katha to name a few.

Life with Sarojini

Dr. Ajantha’s wife Sarojini (daughter of Kokiladevi Weeratunga) is a lady I always respected. Dr. Ajantha has disclosed that as a journalist he had to interview this singer and that is how fell in love with the daughter. There was such support from Sarojini for his literary works. She was a kind and understanding wife who allowed Dr. Ajantha to write – especially love songs. She never queried about the songs or who he wrote them for. Dr. Ajantha even spoke of his former loves in Sarojini’s presence. She understood him well. Thanks to her supportive nature, we are blessed with hundreds of beautiful love songs. Dr. Ajantha loved her dearly. Their two children Saranga and Devalochana were his life. The children were very close to him. There was such harmony in that house where friends were always welcome.

Humble to the core

Born in Thalammahara in Kurunegala, he went to Pannala Government School and later to St. John’s College, Nugegoda. He remained the same humble human being, even after receiving the President’s Award for Best Song Writer of the Year, on three occasions, and Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, Awards for Excellence Programme, organised by the Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka, in 2014. He received many awards at the film and literary festivals, such as Sarasaviya, OCIC, State Literary, Raigam, Sumathi awards. He always respected everyone all the time. I do recall an instance where a young radio DJ of an FM channel addressed him as ‘Ajantha’. The young woman would have been half his age and not even with quarter of his experience. But Dr. Ajantha took no notice of the way he was addressed. He continued the interview giving full respect to the young woman.

Untimely death

I feel compelled to write about the way his untimely death occurred. Early one morning, a van from the SLBC was sent to his residence to pick him up. He could not get into the front seat, so his choice was to get into the rear. The driver of the vehicle did not get down to support him. When he was getting into the vehicle through the sliding door on the side, he missed his footing. He had nothing to hold onto. He knocked his head on the ground. I feel that if the organization, who was sending the vehicle to him, was mindful of his age and his value, if the driver was either instructed to help the passenger or was considerate, we would not have lost this invaluable human being. It is a lesson for everyone who is handling transport; to be mindful of the passengers when they are getting in and out of a vehicle.

It was our great honour to have known Dr. Ajantha Ranasinghe. We respected him with all our hearts. He was a giant in the fields of music, movies and journalism. He was truly a scholarly man. His contribution to this country is immeasurable. There is no argument that he was a national treasure.

The Unsurpassable Wordsmith, may you attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.

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Arahath Mahinda’s mission and betrayal by Ven. Buddhagosa



Arahath Mahinda created history in the 3rd Century BC when he not only brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka, but also catalysed the development of a rich civilisation on the island. This great achievement is unparalleled in the annals of Buddhism since the demise of the Buddha. Ven. Buddhagosa is held in high esteem among Sri Lankan Buddhists for translating the Sinhala Commentaries on the Tripitaka into Pali in the 5th Century AD.

The huge enterprise undertaken by King Dharmasoka and his son Arahath Mahinda was to spread the Theravada Dhamma cleansed of all impurities that had crept into it over time. The effort of Ven Buddhaghosa, in contrast, was to reintroduce some of these impurities back into Theravada. These impurities had been removed at the Third Dhamma Sangayanava sponsored by King Dharmasoka, where Ven. Moggalliputtatissa preached the Katavattu, which refutes and eliminates all these impurities. Katavattu has been good enough to be included in the Tripitaka. By this means metaphysical and transcendental features were removed from the Dhamma before it was brought to Sri Lanka. Ven. Buddhagosa in his translation of the Sinhala Commentaries into Pali has reintroduced these features into the Dhamma. His action had resulted in the introduction of ritual worship, and a larger than life image of the historical human being that was Buddha.

Arahath Mahinda after introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka, worked tirelessly on two vital aspects, the practice of the Dhamma and the study of the Pali canonical texts. Historical remains of the facilities made available for the pursuit of these two aspects bear witness to the fact that people were interested in both. Ruins of libraries, lecture theatres and meditation cubicles abound in the country. Practice of the Dhamma was based on the three main features of the Gnana Marga (Path of Wisdom), ‘Dhana, Seela, Bhavana’. There were no rituals. Age old oral tradition was employed for the study of the suttas with designated disciples, in the ancient tradition of the Bhanakas who memorised the suttas and recited them at meetings for their revision. Arahath Mahinda facilitated the teaching process by arranging to make available the commentaries on the suttas in Sinhala.

It is this version of Buddhism that was written down at Aluvihare. Mahinda was careful to see that this Dhamma was established in Sri Lanka. In order to make sure that the correct tenets and dogma were studied he provided Sinahala commentaries. It was these Sinhala Commentaries that were translated into Pali by Ven. Buddhaghosa. But what was the need for this translation? One cannot think of any valid reason. Sinhala commentaries were needed for the teaching of the Dhamma to Sinhala people, and the original Pali version was available in the Tripitaka for reference when necessary. If Buddhagosa wanted to write his own commentaries in Pali he could have done that instead of translating the Sinhala version. He had a command of the Pali language but there is no evidence of how or where he learnt Sinhala with sufficient proficiency to translate complex works to Sinhala. Moreover, what has happened to the Sinhala commentaries is a mystery. Chronicles say they were burnt. Was it done to destroy the evidence? Were they destroyed by invaders? If so why only the Sinhala commentaries, why not all the written works? Did Mahaviharins collude with Buddhagosa in these activities?

Buddhagosa in his translations had made changes, added stories and anecdotes, which is not the accepted function of a translator or even a commentator. These additions are meant to raise the Buddha to a transcendental being, above the realm of this world, who is god like and could grant to humans what they pray for. Some stories describe people offering flowers and incense to Buddha (see Buddhagosa’s commentary on Kalinga Bodhi Jataka). What benefit did Buddhagosa and Mahaviharins, if they were involved, expect from these activities? In this connection Prof Marasinghe says; ‘ The hard work of Buddhagosa and the Mahavihara fraternity culminated in the formulation of a new ritual structure with attractive advantages to keep both the lay followers and the members of the Sanga happy and content

As a result, when we pass from the canonical Pali texts and the Pali commentaries we come into a totally new teaching different from the original’.

The Buddha was a normal human being. Prince Siddartha gave up lay life and went in search of an answer to the eternal suffering of humans and led a very simple life, often resting or sleeping under a tree. What he achieved did not make him a larger than life being or make him or his Dhamma a transcendental or metaphysical phenomenon. The Pali canonical texts still depict this Theravada Buddha (in Prof. Marasinghe’s words), who is totally different to the glorified Buddha in the Buddhagosa’s commentaries. Buddhagosa’s Buddha had accumulated merit in innumerable eons of samsara to achieve what he achieved. Here Buddhagosa asserts that achieving Nirvana is not possible without such accumulation of merit. Buddha has never said merit is necessary for achieving Nirvana, merit could be accumulated or that merit could be transferred from one person to another. Sri Lankan Buddhists make a futile attempt to do all this and the blame lies with Buddhagosa.

Before the advent of Buddhagosa, there were no rituals, during a period of 700 years from the 3rd Century BC to the 5th Century AD. Though there were stupas like Thuparamaya and statues of Buddha and the Bodhi Tree, people treated these as objects of veneration for recollection of the Buddha and his attainment and not for ritual worship of the theistic kind. Buddha advised people to offer alms or give away their possessions to help them get rid of attachment to these objects that are impermanent, for it was the cause of suffering. But Buddhists of today offer alms expecting an accumulation of merit as an insurance for a better life in the next birth. The concept of accumulation of merit and its transfer were discussed and rejected at the Third Dhamma Sangayanava referred to above, and therefore these concepts were not brought to Sri Lanka by Mahinda.

Practice of ritual worship is associated with theistic religions and was never advocated by Buddha, who said that one could attain freedom from suffering by one’s own effort and not by the intervention of an external agent. Buddhagosa paved the way for the entry of ritual worship into the practice of Buddhism, and the belief that worship before stupas, statues, and Bodhi trees would result in the accumulation of merit and rewards. The uniqueness of Buddhism was ruined. Let me quote Prof. Marasinghe; ‘ Thus, all aspects of the new ritual Buddhism which changed the Theravada Buddhism into a system of worship, offering and prayer, like any other theistic religion, has been very carefully planned and smuggled into practice with several bonus packages for the operators’.

Asoka Amaratunga

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WHO taken hostage by global corporate network



by Dr Wasantha Bandara,
The Secretary,
Patriotic National Movement

According to the reports of various independent research institutes in the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently contemplating bringing the entire decision-making authority of the global health system under its control. It is also reported that WHO is planning to use two main devices for that purpose: the revision of the International Health Regulation system (IHR), and the signing of a new global epidemic convention to bind all countries of the world to the organisation’s strategic plan and the guidelines based on it.

This process is called “One Health Agenda” and that will give power to make decisions in respect of all areas affecting public health under the authority of the World Health Organization. Accordingly, the World Health Organization will have the power to influence decision making at the global level in relation to many fields such as food, agricultural production patterns, animal production process, environmental protection, population variables, etc. This situation is very serious due to the fact that the big companies that provide funding to the World Health Organization have been given decision-making power over the process and fields of deploying those funds. For example, if funds are provided for a specific project, the organisation does not have the power or ability to deploy the funds according to the priority, no matter how critical the priorities are. As such it cannot be hidden that the World Health Organization currently determines technical decisions and set priorities according to the wishes of funders.

As such, many researchers have revealed that WHO is almost completely dependent on private funds for all its budgetary requirements. According to Dr. David Bell’s research reports, the biggest funder of that organisation is Bill Gates and the umbrella organisations dominated by him. Dr. David Bell accuses Bill Gates of using his funds as leverage to shut down the entire world and introduce mandatory vaccination programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no secret that a large vaccine market was created and the accounts of large companies were fattened. It has now been revealed that the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation invested large amounts of money for it even before the pandemic. However, even though the orders are given by WHO for epidemic control, the programmes in every country of the world should be launched with the funds of the taxpayers of those countries.

Accordingly, WHO is accused of having destroyed 200,000 small businesses in the world while 40 new billionaires were created by the end of the Covid epidemic. The whole process has been dubbed by various researchers as “epidemic industry”. Therefore, in the future, it is possible to present an “epidemic package” with measures such as new epidemics control measures and mass vaccination programmes, as well as imposing restrictions on economic and social activities and shutting down the entire world in the end. The cost will be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries and the profits will be credited to the accounts of Global Corporate network.

Accordingly, the billionaires can ensure that the process is carried out the way they want through the International Health Regulations and the New Pandemic Convention, which gives WHO “global police powers” as mentioned above. New regulations revealed to be currently being drafted will introduce new criteria for declaring a global pandemic and health emergency. Consequently, by creating an epidemic or emergency situation that can happen or is likely to happen, it is possible to recommend actions to be taken in a real situation. For example, it is possible to completely shut down a country and create a global mass market by implementing mass vaccination programmes or preparing for other medical interventions.

According to the new international health regulations, the directives given by WHO are mandatory and all the countries that were parties in 2005 are obliged to implement those directives. Also, the new regulations empower the Director-General of the World Health Organization as an individual to independently declare a health emergency or a global pandemic. As such, the possibility of the independent expert committees to challenge the objectives of the funders is minimal. A mechanism will also be set up to ensure that the relevant orders are strictly implemented by establishing a very comprehensive centralised enforcement process. Accordingly, member countries are constrained in their ability to seek other options other than submitting to the directives of the Director General of the World Health Organization. As an extension of that, the Director General will be empowered to publish any country’s data without that country’s permission, as well as to provide it to the requesting party to be used for any purpose.

Above all, the Director General will have the power not only to deploy the resources of member countries but also to make decisions on intellectual property rights and will also have the power to censor the disclosure of information. Also, it is considered a very autocratic situation to make individual people bound by regulations. Accordingly, the public will have to be obliged as individuals to submit to the closure of borders, the imposition of travel restrictions, to follow the quarantine process, to submit to medical research, to submit to mandatory medical treatment and vaccinations.

In that way, it is very clear that in addition to binding countries and individuals by the new international health regulations, the new Epidemic Convention creates many other obligations. According to the draft currently under discussion, the power of the World Health Organization will spread beyond epidemic control. For example, a global supply chain will be created under the supervision of the World Health Organization for health supplies. In addition, each country must allocate 5% of the national health budget to maintain the emergency situation management structure of the WHO. As an extension of that, each country should create a specific governance structure for the health emergency situation management process under the supervision of the World Health Organization.

This new global pandemic agreement will expand the mandate of the World Health Organization indefinitely under the umbrella of ‘One Health Agenda’. Accordingly, the control of climate change as mentioned above is also considered as a health emergency and the power to impose restrictions and orders related to it has been submitted to the authority of the World Health Organization or in other Words the authority of the funders. In this way, the World Health Organization will have the power to impose orders overriding the local laws of a country. In such a situation, in the name of controlling climate change or in the name of controlling a related health emergency, the Director General of the world health organization will be able to take over the power to control the entire world’s food production system.

WHO is not the only organisation that comes forward to confirm the need for this so-called one health agenda. Not only the United Nations Organization, the European Union, the United Nations Children’s Fund, but also the Global Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have come forward to spend money for that and popularise the concept. Even if this organizations invest in the so-called epidemic industry in this way, the operating costs should be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries. Hence, Dr. Bell states that the public must invest money for billionaires to make profit and ultimately to become victims of exploitation and destruction. The World Economic Forum has introduced a new theory to provide protection for this evil process. It is known as Public Private Partnership. In order to give it further legitimacy, it is termed as the transformation of the process from the dominance of shareholders to the dominance of stakeholders.

It is very clear that the end result of this private-public or private-government partnership is that the profits of the entire process are accumulated in the accounts of a handful of big companies. To facilitate this process, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed an agreement in 2019 and thereby impose the business interests of large companies on sovereign countries through this United Nations and its affiliated international multilateral organisation network. It is in the context that the World Economic Forum gathered in Davos, Switzerland in 2020 presented a new theory called “The Great Reset”. A key device in that theory is contractual private-public cooperation. In other words, the global multilateral institutions system is used to re-establish or reset the world according to the wishes of the global billionaires’ forum or the World Economic Forum. In that process, a Global Decision-Making system will be established.

Eventually, that so-called decision-making system becomes a global governance system or a global government of billionaires. The seriousness of the process is hidden by not naming it the global government but created as a technical decision-making system at global level. But the real situation is the creation of a global government above the independent states of the world. The World Health Organization will become the most powerful tool used to manipulate or control states in the way that the global government desires. Accordingly, the ultimate goal of the new International Health Regulations and the new Global Epidemic Convention should be understood and redefined in this greater context or bigger picture.

It can now be clearly seen that the current moment in which the world is undergoing a great economic depression is being used to pass a critical juncture related to the process of re-establishing the world. It is obviously a kind of imperialist operation. Accordingly, the next World Health Assembly will be used to adopt international health regulations. If that operation becomes a success, the relevant amendments will be put to the vote in May 2024. There, only a simple majority is required to pass those resolutions. But according to the procedure of the conference, the member countries will have a period of 10 months to reject the relevant amendments. As such, in March 2025, the process of creating a new world will begin. If a country has the courage to oppose it, only that state will have a limited space to act according to the international health regulations that have been in force since 2005.

Meanwhile, the World Pandemic Convention will also be put to the vote in May 2024, but will require a special two-thirds majority to pass it. After the adoption of the convention, if endorsed by 30 countries, all signatory countries are bound to implement the convention. But global giants are not waiting until then, and will launch an operation in September 2023 to begin a rehearsal through an operation called the Global Pandemic Response Platform. There is no doubt that it is a rehearsal to guide countries to the 2024 Agenda.

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Of that proposed ‘Climate Change University’



by Dr. Ranil Senanayake

With the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21 held in 2015, Paris being ignored by the ‘Climate Change’ bureaucrats for eight years, there is concern that the agricultural community is running out of time. The recent change in management seemed to show some promise by appointing Eric Solheim as the Advisor on climate change. Thus in August of 2022 the Sri Lanka country statement to COP 21 was submitted to him in the hope that he could initiate the urgent actions that need to be attended to. Sadly, there seems to be no acceptance of this statement by the Government up until today. One trusts that the stupid public statements like “Sri Lanka will take the lead in ensuring the developing economies have the resources to mitigate climate change” have been crafted by the bureaucrats and not the advisors.

Now, we are presented with another silly political gundu, a ‘Climate Change University’. In terms of climate change, they are compromisers of our farmers and our fishermen. They are guilty of not putting in place the official machinery, to prepare for the oncoming stress factors, driven by climate change. Heat stress to our crops and the loss of ocean productivity are the most obvious. A nation would respond to such a scenario by having its agricultural scientists focus on breeding heat tolerance into our crops. We do not need a university to tell us that heat is going to be a problem. It was stated eight years ago in the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21. It said:

“(1) We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.”

If we are a nation unable to listen to its own voices or even the voices of others. What can be done to penetrate the echo chamber that politicians benefiting from earmarked funds have created around themselves? Globally, the scientific community are warning us that the crisis coming, we can see the wave on the horizon, but most people are still rooted in the dream that life will proceed as normal and are willing to let the corporations and politicians, calm us by moving the deck chairs a bit more, for us to enjoy our ride on their Titanic.

The oceanic levels are going up as a consequence of climate change. In Sri Lanka the current rate is around 3.6mm per annum. However, research published in February 2022 shows that sea level rise is accelerating and projected to rise by a foot by 2050. If there was any coordination on climate change, we should be mapping out the rice-growing areas prone to salinisation. We should be accessing salt tolerant rice varieties into the national rice breeding programme. We should be evaluating alternate crops for saline areas. We have the resources to respond, we do not need to wait for a climate change university to tell us that.

Without awaiting the lucrative construction of a new university, could we not consider the request of the Sri Lankan Country statement to COP 21 to be considered by the line ministries today and action plans drawn up? If we have funds for this new university is it not better to award the funds to existing institutions to respond to the oncoming crisis.

Sri Lanka Position Paper

To the UN Conference for Climate Change (COP21) Paris 1-10 December 2015

Sri Lanka is a vulnerable island in the face of Climate Change. An increase in the intensity of rainfall will erode our mountains and create increased flood damage. An increase in the sea level will render much of our productive agricultural lands saline. An increase of ambient temperatures will reduce our agricultural productivity. We are in agreement with the view that an increase of the Carbon Dioxide concentration in our atmosphere will contribute to this vulnerability.

We are aware of the great difference in carbon dioxide that is emitted from biological sources and carbon dioxide emitted from fossil sources. One has sequestered rates measured in thousands of years while the other in millions of years. Yet the cost is still the same. We would request the IPCC to address the relative costs of each.

We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.

We are aware that the critical Ecosystem services such as; production of Oxygen, sequestering of Carbon, water cycling and ambient cooling is carried out by the photosynthetic component of biomass. This is being lost at an exponential rate, due to the fact that these Ecosystem Services have not been valued, nor economically recognised. We would request the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to examine the value of photosynthetic biomass.

Sri Lanka will place her development agenda on a fossil free target and will promote an economic recognition of the ecosystem services generated by the photosynthetic biomass. In this way we offer to act in a globally responsible manner as well as to contribute in creating a cushioning effect for the climate extremes that are before us.

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