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Opposing GM, supporting Kali Amma

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by Chandre Dharmawardana
[Professor, Université de Montreal, and Principal Research Scientist-Emeritus, National Research Council of Canada]

The claim that the “Western Mafia” has a stranglehold on traditional opinion in Sri Lanka in opposing the free distribution of the “Kali-Anma Paeni” or the “Hela-Suvaya Dum Hattiya” against the Covid Pandemic is seen to be false by the stand taken on Gentically Modified (GM) products in Sri Lanka. Similarly, the political success achieved by Venerable Rathana and others in banning glyphosate provides added proof of the power of those who support the occult sciences and oppose modern science. The glyphosate ban was reversed only when the tea market was about to collapse, with the agricultural sector having faced a loss several times larger than the loss from the bond scam.

The opposition to the herbicide roundup, the opposition to golden rice by Vandana Shiva and her followers, are also based on the ideological and unscientific opposition to GM. Dr. Sanath Gunatilleke who god-fathered Dr. Channa Jayasumana’s doctoral studies is a leading anti-GM crusader who inducted the young Jayasumana and Ms. Seneviratne of “Helasuvaya” to the same crusade.

Insulin and many pharmaceuticals have for many decades been based on GM and this is ignored by our anti-GM crusaders. They “don’t need such things” because they claim to have their own medications, e.g, “Dum Hattiya” (smoke inhalation) and “Kola Kaenda” (Herbal broth) that “cure Covid in less than four days”, as asserted in April 2020.

However, with several leading anti-Covid vaccines being based on RNA technology (i.e., GM technology) at least some people may open their eyes. Nevertheless, in Sri Lanka it is not GM, but Kali Amma and Nath Deviyo who reign, as one may ascertain from the many articles that appear in the Lnaka-C-news, Lanka web, etc. See the recent articles by Dr. Channa Jayasumana and Dr. Nalin de Silva.

Dr. Jayasuman may remember that his peers claimed that God Natha made a “sannivedanaya” to the effect that the soil, water and the diet of the Rajarata farmers contain high amounts of Arsenic. However, no significant amounts (not even 10 parts per billion) of Arsenic has been found even by Kelaniya University scientists who worked under the thumb of Dr. Nalin de Silva. So the proved to be incorrect.
Venerable Ratana, who gave support to the alleged God Natha “revelation on the presumed cause of Kidney disease” is said to have asked, if the revealed truths given in the Bible and Quran could be accepted, why we should not accept the truth revealed by Goddess “Kali Amma”, So, in that case, given that the Manthree Haamuduruvo accepts the truths revealed by Kali Amma, Natha Deviyo et al does he accept the revealed truths given in the Bible and the Kuran? How did the Venerable Monk ascertain that it was indeed Kali Amma, who communicated with Dr. Dhammika Bandara?

Dr. Dhammika Bandara has claimed that if someone takes his medicine for a few days, then he acquires immunity against the Corona virus for life. Obviously, he cannot make that claim as NOT A SINGLE life-long test of any sort has been carried out. It is claimed that some medical doctors have covertly collaborated with him and proved that his medicine cures Covid patients. If so, there must be clinical records of those tests and they should be examined to see if there is a preliminary case in support of Dr. Dhammika Bandara.

Dr. Bandara may claim that the “recipe” came to him in a dream, or handed to him by Badhra Kali, or understood by him while sitting and meditating under a tree, or whatever.

The method of discovery does not establish the validity of the discovery. The Buddha himself did not attempt to validate his teaching by HOW he reached enlightenment. The Kalama Sutta, the Gnana Sutta (less well known in Southern Buddhism), and the “Ehipassiko” doctrine indicate the empirical approach advocated by the Buddha. The Buddha exhorted, “Oh Monks, to know if a metal is a base metal or a noble metal, use the touchstone – in the same way know my teaching”. The issue is not the path to the product, but the CLAIMS made for the product itself and they have to be established by the empirical method (touch stone), and not by appealing to gods, and not the nature of the path used to arrive at the answer.
The issue here is three fold:

(i) Can the proposed medication actually cure Covid patients or become a defence (act as a prophylactic) against the Corona virus? Note that the mortality rate from this disease is less than 0.3% and hence most people who contract the infection recover in any case.

(ii) Until it is established that the proposed medication is effective, selling goods making such a claim is to make money by false advertisement.

(iii) To claim that there is a national emergency, and so one can bypass step one is incorrect, as by passing step one may cause other tragedies and so this is the worst time to “cut corners”. Only justifiable thing is to give priority to such tests, if there is indeed a preliminary basis for the claim. If the objective is to sell it as a food product, then too, its safety needs to be established and there is then no hurry about it.
From a biochemical point of view, one can fairly definitely say that a mixture of Nutmeg, ginger and coriander or any other well-known herb, cooked in bee honey can have no effect on the virus. This is based on a vast corpus of chemical knowledge, and our knowledge of the stereo-specific “lock-and-key” type of action of a virus on a target cell. The immune system has to develop antibodies that block the “lock and key sockets” used by the virus, and this is why genetic materiel from the virus is needed in the anti-viral product.

Vadhakaha is an established traditional herbal medicine, and yet, its use during the solar eclipse in the 1950s after its recommendation by a very respected monk led to widespread poisoning. Similarly, there have been many “traditional” herbal remedies and cow-urine products recommended in India for various illnesses varying from Dengue and Cancer to Leprosy that led to deaths of patients. These show that even with “traditional treatments”, the precautionary principle of adequate testing prior to approval for marketing is absolutely needed. However, instead of looking at the issue as a matter of protecting the consumer, be it from a Western pharmaceutical product or from a traditional herbal product, the issue has been posed as a tug of war between a “patta-pal-boru Western Science” and a long standing heritage of traditional knowledge buttressed by divine revelations from a highly respected, even feared Hindu goddess who has found a place in Lankan culture even prior to the arrival of Prince Vijaya.

These political posturings will perhaps indicate how Dr. Dhammika Banadara may move forward in the future, if he has the same political acumen and media savvy that he has shown so far.

Just as Dr. Jayasumana became a politician riding on the crest of the Kidney disease, can the Kovil Physician Dr. Dhammika Bandara who has the support of Kali Amma as well as many politicians now move into the political arena and aim to become the future Minister of Pharmaceuticals?



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Features

To recognise and reward Women Entrepreneur

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by Zanita Careem

WCIC “Prathibhabis-heka” national awards will be given to outstanding women entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka and the SAARC said Anoji de Silva, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce WCIC at a press conference held at the Jetwing hotel Ward PlaceThis year the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by DFCS Aloka.This National Award which is recognised globally will help women to market their products to international buyers

“As a country we have faced many difficulties over the last few years. Now this is the time to reflect and ensure that local women can contribute and progress to be on par with international entrepreneurs She also noted that this award ceremony is a great opportunity for all since it’s an absolutely empowering platform. “You hear success stories of women from different walks of life and it’s very empowering and inspiring. I’m sure that the younger generation of women who will watch the ceremony wii be inspired to be sucessful entrepreneurs in the future S

“Our women entrepreneurs have the potential to help our economy to grow. They have made vast strides to build companies on a set of values and they have created diverse working environments.

The WCIC Prathibhabisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards will be held in January 22. To the question how financial records of small businesses headed by women could deter their ability to apply the chairperson said.

“We have a startup category which is under five years where they can submit documents for consideration. She responded “These women can apply but must submit proper records to back their applications or else they will be rejected wholeheartedly.The Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022

“Prathibha” depicts excellence in Sanskrit and WCIC will showcase the excellence of outstanding women entrepreneurs through WCIC Prathibhabisheka –

“The relaunched property is structured to assess the businesses in a holistic manner. We invite outstanding women entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have braved the challenges in the past years to share their story of resilience and achievements to compete for the coveted – WCIC Prathibhabisheka The Awards will honour women entrepreneurs for their tenacity to scale and grow, and for their contribution and impact on the economy. Whilst the competition is primarily for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, we have also included an opportunity for women in the SAARC region to compete in a special category” stated Anoji De Silva, the Chairperson of the WCIC.

The members of WCIC Ramani Ponnambalam and Tusitha Kumarakul-asingam, said”. We will be accepting applications under the categories – Start-up, Micro, Small, Medium and Large. Each category will have a specified revenue for the year under review – 2021/22. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be presented for each category. With the view to identify and promote regional women entrepreneurs, we will encourage applications from all the provinces in the country and select the “Best of the Region” from each province.

The women will also be considered for the coveted special awards – Young Woman Entrepreneur, Outstanding Start- up, Most Positively Abled Woman Entrepreneur, The Most Outstanding Export Oriented Entrepreneur, The Best of the SAARC Region. The ceremony will culminate with the selection of the “Women Entrepreneur of the year -2022”.

“The entry kit can be downloaded from www.wcicsl.lk and completed and submitted to the WCIC along with all the material required to substantiate the applicant’s story. Entries close on the 31st of October.” stated Tusitha Kumarak-ulasingam.

WCIC Prathibabisheka – Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by– DFCC Aloka, as the Platinum Sponsor, with Gold Sponsors – Mclarens Group, LOLL Holdings Plc, Hayleys Leisure Pic, and AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd (Exclusive Insurance Partner), Silver – Finez Capital Ventures Print and Social Media Partners will be the Wijeya Group and Electronic Media Partner–ABC Network with Triad as our Creative Partner and Ernst & Young as Knowledge Partner.

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional business-women. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates. WCIC Prathibhasheka is relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding women enterpreneurs who make a contribution to the SL economy.

For further information Contact- Janitha Stephens – 0766848080

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Features

Marmalade sandwich in Queen’s handbag!

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In this period of national mourning, it may seem frivolous to comment on the late Queen’s handbag. After seven decades of selfless service to the nation, fashion is but a footnote to Her Majesty’s glorious reign.And yet her style is something that helped to create the powerful majestic image of Queen Elizabeth II, and which made her instantly recognisable worldwide. A key part of that image, and a constant presence in her working life, was her black Launer handbag.

Launer London was Her Majesty’s handbag maker for more than 50 years and has held the Royal Warrant since 1968. Launer bags are formal and structured, and proved to be the ideal regal accessory for public engagements. Its first royal patronage came from HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 1950s. Where others might have bought the latest ‘It’ bag, Queen Elizabeth exercised characteristic restraint with her handbags throughout her life, focusing on quality over quantity in her loyalty to Launer.

Her Majesty was known for her love of colour in her working wardrobe, wearing rainbow brights in order to be better seen by the public, but her accessories were always muted. Black mostly, sometimes beige or white in summer, gold or silver in the evening: neutrals that matched with every colour, allowing her to dress with ease. The timeless style of her trusty Traviata top-handle bag suited the Queen’s no-nonsense nature and symbolised her steadfast reign. The late Baroness Thatcher shared the Queen’s love of a strong top handle from classic British labels such as Launer and Asprey. These bags helped promote a look of someone in control. Like Queen Elizabeth, Thatcher’s handbags were such a part of her identity that they have earned their own special place in history and have been described as the former PM’s ‘secret weapon’. One such bag has been exhibited at the V&A alongside Sir Winston Churchill’s red despatch box. Both are artefacts of cultural and historic importance.

It has been said that there was another purpose to the Queen’s handbag on public engagements, namely that she used it as a secret signalling device. According to royal historian Hugo Vickers, Her Majesty would switch the bag from her left arm to her right to signal for an aide to come to her rescue if she tired of the conversation in which she was engaged. If she placed the bag on the table, this was a sign that she wanted to leave. Ever-practical, HM needed a bag that focused on functionality over fashion, choosing styles with slightly longer top handles that comfortably looped over the monarch’s arm, freeing her hands to accept bouquets and greet the public. Even in her final photograph, meeting her 15th prime minister in her sitting room at Balmoral Castle, just two days before her death last week, the Queen’s handbag can be seen on her left arm. Perhaps at this stage it was part armour, part comfort blanket.Even at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II did not lose her ability to surprise. She delighted the public by taking tea with Paddington Bear at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and finally revealed what she keeps in her handbag: a marmalade sandwich, ‘for later’.

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Cinnamon Grand, Colombo welcomes You to the SEQUEL

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The next best thing in Colombo!

What would you get if you took the decadence of yesterday and paired it with the flavours of right now? Something bold and jazzy or rich and snazzy. Something we’d like to call the next best thing. All this and more at Cinnamon City Hotels to the SEQUEL at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo said a press release.

The release said the SEQUEL is where the old meets new, where charm meets sophistication and having a good time gets a new meaning. Colombo’s latest speakeasy cocktail bar is ready to welcome the discerning guest that is looking for that perfectly curated night.

“The SEQUEL will be a novel addition to Colombo’s nightlife catered to enthralling guests with our performances and showmanship,” said Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice-President, Cinnamon City Hotels.

What do we mean when we say performance? It means that every little detail is tailored to those who appreciate elegance, and a bespoke experience like no other. Think walking into a vintage space accompanied by the sounds of Sinatra and Fitzgerald inviting you to do it your way or for once in your life. Think of the soul-searching and eclectic mix of Winehouse classics that you can drown your sorrows in.

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