Connect with us

News

Tourism will recover in Sri Lanka says top British publisher

Published

on

By Ifham Nizam

Renowned British publisher, John Beaufoy, Managing Director of the London based John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd, says tourism will recover in Sri Lanka and he hopes to publish more books on Sri Lanka in the future.

John Beaufoy Publishing has published a significantly revised third edition of ‘A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka’. Previous editions of this pocket guide have been of immense use to many Sri Lankans and foreign tourists. The third edition has been extensively revised to reflect current taxonomic thinking influenced by advances in molecular phylogenetic.

The arrangement of birds to reflect their evolutionary relationship to each other is the science of taxonomy or systematics, which has been in a state of flux for centuries as taxonomists attempt to construct the evolutionary relationship between birds. The new arrangement of families will hold many surprises. For example, consider the familiar Sri Lanka Woodshrike, an endemic bird that is easily seen in popular dry lowland sites, such as Yala. Many local birders will be surprised to find that it is now included in the family Vangidae, which comprises birds known as Vangas better known from Madagascar. The exact placement of some bird species still remains unresolved despite significant advances in genome sequencing.

At the time of writing, Sri Lanka has come off the red list of countries such as the UK and is poised to benefit from the resumption of international travel after nearly two years of Covid. JBP currently have in print ‘Naturalist’s Guide’ titles covering birds, butterflies and dragonflies, mammals, flowers, trees and reptiles as well as the larger format book ‘Wild Sri Lanka’.

In the current book, despites its compact size, 278 species of birds from 80 families within 22 scientific orders are covered. The book’s author and principal photographer is Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, one of Sri Lanka’s best known natural history popularisers and a strong advocate of aligning conservation with an economic agenda. According to him, despite Sri Lanka being a moderate-sized island, it is a fantastic place in which to learn about birds. Over a third of the world’s bird families from over half of the world’s scientific orders are found in Sri Lanka. As a result Sri Lankan birders are familiar with many of the bird families found in Europe, Asia and Africa. Many visiting birders and photographers also comment on how remarkably easy it is to get close to stunning birds in Sri Lanka. Even in the capital city, colourful birds, such as the Black-headed Oriole, visit home gardens. Colombo is also blessed with biodiversity-rich urban wetlands such as Thalangama Wetland, Diysaru Wetland Park and Beddegana Wetland where a spectacular array of birds, from Grey-headed Swamphen to Oriental Honey-buzzard, can be seen.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

News

Parliament prorogued on Friday night

Published

on

President says cabinet agreeable to fully implementing 13 A until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment

Parliament was prorogued from midnight Friday (27) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe under powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution, parliamentary sources said on Friday.

The Department of Government Printing was due to issue the relevant notification on Friday night but it was not out as this edition went to print.However the President’ Media Division (PMD) confirmed the prorogation on Friday evening saying that President Wickremesinghe “is expected” to make a policy statement based on the decisions taken after the 75th Independence anniversary when parliament recommences on Feb.8.

A separate bulletin said that the president had informed the party leaders Conference on Reconciliation that the cabinet was agreeable to “fully implementing (the) 13th Amendment until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment.”

Parliamentary sources explained that a prorogation which is a temporary recess of parliament, should not extend to a period of more than two months, However, such date for summoning parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation.

Political observers believe that the prorogation is related to the president’s effort to secure as wide a consensus as possible on the National Question. They dismissed speculation that it is related to the scheduled local elections. This issue was clarified by the PMD bulletin.

When parliament is prorogued, the proclamation should notify the date of the commencement of the new session of parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution.During the prorogation the speaker continues to function and MPs retain their membership of the legislature even though they do not attend meetings of the House.

The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current business before the House and all proceedings pending at the time are quashed except impeachments.A Bill, motion or question of the same substance cannot be introduced for a second time during the same session. However, it could be carried forward at a subsequent session after a prorogation.

“All matters which having been duly brought before parliament, have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation, may be proceeded with during the next session,” states the paragraph (4) of article 70 of the constitution.

In the light of this constitutional provision, a prorogation does not result in an end to pending business. Thus, a pending matter may be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new session.

At the beginning of a new session all items of business which were in the order paper need to be re-listed, if it is desired to continue with them.At the end of a prorogation a new session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the president.

He is empowered under the constitution to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each session of parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of parliament in terms of the provisions of paragraph (2) of article 33 of the constitution.The president is empowered to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each new session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech which was delivered by the Governor-General.

Continue Reading

News

Remembering Upali Wijewardene, the founder of the Upali Group of Companies

Published

on

The Upali Group of Companies, its employees and sales agents countrywide, have made arrangements to invoke blessings on its founder, Upali Wijewardene, who disappeared in his Lear jet 40 years ago. Bodhi Pooja, Pahan Pooja and an alms-giving will be held, in his memory, on Feb. 13 (Monday).

A special Bodhi Pooja will be held at the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya at 6 p.m. on February 13,With the blessings of Prof. Ven. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangarakkhitha Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.

Arrangements have been made to offer alms to the Maha Sangha at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and scholarships to 10 needy children from the Helena Wijewardene Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya.Alms-giving to the inmates of the Home for the Elders at Mulgampola, Kandy, Pinkama from 4.30 p.m. onwards at the Ceylon Chocolates factory premises.

Bodhipooja, Pahan Pooja and Kavibana deshana will be held at Vidya Niketha Piriven Viharaya, Sapugoda Kamburupitiya.The employees of Upali Consumer Products have arranged an alms-giving lunch at the ‘Children’s Home’ at Ja-Ela.

Founder’s Day Program on February 13, 2023.

10.00 a.m. – Offering of Buddhapooja at the ‘Dhathumandiriya’.

10.30 a.m. – Scholarships to 10 needy children from Helena Wijewardene Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya.

11.30 a.m. – Alms-giving for the Maha Sangha at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya.

12 noon – Providing lunch for the Children’s Home, Ja-Ela, organized by the employees of the Upali Trading Co. Ltd.

5.15 p.m. – Offering Gilanpasapooja (permissible drinks) for Dhathumandiraya.

6.00 p.m. – Bodhi Pooja and Pahan Pooja at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya.

All these pinkamas (meritorious acts) are organized by Upali Group employees and newspaper, Kandos/Delta and soap agents.

Continue Reading

News

CARAT/MAREX Lanka concludes, enhancing naval partnerships and disaster response

Published

on

Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)/Marine Exercise (MAREX) Sri Lanka 2023 concluded in Colombo, Jan. 26, following eight days of in-person and at-sea engagements that enhanced collaboration between the Sri Lanka and U.S. militaries.

CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka took place in Colombo, at Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bases in Trincomalee and Mullikullam, and in the Laccadive Sea, Jan. 19-26. The exercise focused on increasing proficiency in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief (HADR), and maritime security capabilities.

“From our maritime roots comes a reliance on the sea for our prosperity, and a shared vision of a world in which all sovereign states can peacefully interact with each other and participate in a rules-based order,”

said Rear Adm. Joaquin J. Martinez de Pinillos, vice commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “This exercise and the efforts of all who helped bring it to life are a testament to the United States and Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving that shared vision.”

SLN offshore patrol vessels SLNS Gajabahu (P 626) and SLNS Vijayabahu (P 627) met amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), at sea. This year’s exercise included participants from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Maldives National Defence Force, as well as the Sri Lanka Air Force.

For the HADR training, two USN landing craft transferred troops, supplies, and vehicles ashore to a beach area of Mullikulam. The subsequent exercises tested and improved the partners’ ability to coordinate and communicate with one another in a simulated disaster environment.

“I thank all participants for their commitment and enthusiasm throughout the exercise and really appreciate all the hard work and level of professionalism demonstrated throughout the last few days in order to conduct this exercise beyond expectations,” said Commander of the SLN Vice Adm. Priyantha Perera. “I hope this good relationship among Sri Lanka, United States, Japan and Maldives will continue progressively in the future to cherish the strong relationships that we are maintaining to effectively address common interests.”

Additional exercises conducted at sea included divisional tactics, visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), replenishment-at-sea approaches, and reconnaissance and gunnery exercises. Helicopters aboard Anchorage successfully carried out VBSS exercises, embarkation, and disembarkation of personnel and material on the decks of the SLN ships involved in the sea phase.

Shore phase highlights included a Women, Peace and Security roundtable with members of the Sri Lanka and U.S. militaries hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, public performances between both countries’ navy bands, a sports day, and a series of community service activities.

“During this fifth iteration of CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka, our two countries were able to conduct knowledge exchanges with follow-on practical application,” said Lt. Col. Jared Reddinger, commanding officer, Battalion Landing Team 2/4, 13th MEU. “In doing so, we sharpened our skills, improved interoperability, and worked together towards a mutual vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

 The shore phase training consisted of subject matter expert exchanges on issues like diving and underwater construction, medical support, and maritime domain awareness. Additional participating U.S. assets included a P-8A Poseidon and personnel from U.S. 7th Fleet, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72, CTF 73, CTF 76/3, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, and Amphibious Squadron 7.

“Both on land and at sea, the success of the CARAT exercise is a testament to the depth of the U.S. – Sri Lanka bilateral relationship, which is 75 years strong,” said Ambassador Chung.  “We look forward to building on this partnership to continue to advance the security and prosperity of the region.”

CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka is a bilateral exercise between Sri Lanka and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, practice humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and strengthen maritime understanding, partnerships, and interoperability.

In its 28th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner forces’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

Continue Reading

Trending