Recounting the Five Lucky Misadventures in My Two-Score-and-Ten Years of Bike Hikes in Sri Lanka


Nanda Wanninayaka on Bajaj Pulsar 200 (A file photo)

Nanda Wanninayaka on Bajaj Pulsar 200 (A file photo)

I have been riding motorbikes for over 30 years now. It is the most fascinating pastime for me, maybe next to horse-riding. (It is too early to take horse-riding a pastime because I don’t own one, not yet.) I started motorbike riding with a Honda C70 model motorbike my eldest brother bought for the family and then went into riding other models the friends use too. I bought my first motorbike, a stunning Bajaj Pulsar 200, made in India, the talk of the town those days and then kind of downshifted it to Bajaj Pulsar 150 in a folly without a valid reason. That unlucky Bajaj Pulsar 150 is now rusting away in a garage after it faced its second terrible accident. (First one happened by my brother-in-law.) I am hoping to salvage it by spending another 30,000 (195 USD) to 40,000 LKR (260 USD.) Let’s see how it goes.

What follows is the narrative of the five major bike accidents I met with still lived to tell the five successive stories.

First Misadventure

The first mishap took place when I was still in my teens and had not even been licensed to ride a motorbike. I was riding my eldest brother’s Honda C70 with my younger brother, Aruna as pillion. We were riding on the Suriyadamana Road.  I was as thrilled and free as a bird as this was a time I could enjoy daredevil things away from the watchful eyes of my other elder brother (Upali Aiya) who was hot-tempered and would be mad if he saw how fast I rode. With both Aruna and I frenzied with the new-found freedom, I was on the top speed and was singing “Zindagi Ek Safar” (the famous Bollywood song superstar Rajesh Khanna sang while riding the bike with his screen sweetheart on the pillion in the movie Andaz) as this was the song that surrounded my mind whenever I sped on a motorbike. The Sinhala language song of the same tune was also popular with charismatic Sri Lankan superstar Vijaya Kumaranatunga as the lead role.

The frenzy did not last that long. There was a sharp bend when you passed the public cemetery and I had no control at all when I tried to negotiate the corner and the bike got almost airborne and the rider and his pillion unceremoniously landed up on a heap of coconut leave decorations that had been used for decorations in a cemetery ceremony a few days earlier. I knew I was unharmed and was not sure if my younger brother was. He was not to be seen. It was then he, too, emerged from the heap of coconut thatches decorations and found to be unhurt. Maybe we both were saved because the heap of coconut thatches absorbed the impact and cushioned us. The bike’s front was damaged a lot and we could still manage to ride home the disfigured bike. I was waiting to see my elder brother going into a rage and barge at me but au de contraire, a calm elder brother told us just to be careful next time. This was the first big accident I had with a motorbike.

Second Misadventure

Nanda and Gayani

Nanda and Gayani (A file photo)

I was newly married and the nuptial couple were proceeding from the hilly and cool Badulla, or in other words, my better-half, a small-time beauty if I may classify her so, and I were on my younger brother Aruna’s Bajaj Pulsar 180 bike. Road from Badulla via Mahiyanganaya and Polonnaruwa was not in an acceptable state of repair those days but we so far had no problem even though I rode at top speed. We stopped several times on the way for snacks and meals and it was a beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze – ideal condition for biking. Road was long yet I wasn’t tired and my better-half, too, enjoyed the ride in the pillion. I had been advised by several people not to take such long bike rides and instead use the public transport which was less expensive and less risky. But I was (and am) not the one who pays heed to others, especially in things related to my favorite hobbies. We started early from Badulla’s salubrious hills and it was around afternoon when we reached Habarana, the lush monsoon jungles. From Habarana to Anuradhapura, the marvel of ancient civilizations besides being my native territory, we came even faster because the desired destination, Mahawilachchiya, my native village, was closing in. We thought of taking the road passing Anuradhapura Air Force Camp (aka Northern Camp) and there was a bend of which no notice was taken by me as the corner materializing ahead seemed insignificant compared to the large number of bends we had just been negotiating all along the winding stretches I took from the mountainous Badulla to Loggal Oya on the plains. So, I misjudged that this was something very simple and too small to be treated as a noteworthy bend but the bend thought otherwise. It gave such a resistance and bike took its own control as gravity dictated, and not my frantic anti-gravity inputs to control the machine. It somewhat veered and a kind of careened and dragged itself on the tarmac and my precious cargo, the pillion passenger was thrown asunder from the bike first and me next. When I collected my senses in a rather dizzy way, I first looked at my wife to see if she were unharmed and beheld she was sedentary on the middle of the road and laughing out loud as she used to be. We both were all right saving some bruises in me and the bike was only slightly damaged. One has to be really in the good books of the providence above, to be able to walk away unharmed from such a grave mishap caused by sheer disrespect for Sir Isaak Newton’s laws of gravity.

Third Misadventure

Abhilash Wanninayaka

Abhilash Wanninayaka (A file photo)

The other day, in 2010 I was riding my own Bajaj Pulsar 200 Rocket and I was impatient as I was to see our one and only son, Abhilash after some time. My being emotionally overly eager to be with the child eclipsed my thoughts focusing solely on the bike’s controls and the traffic on the road from Isurupaya, Battaramulla in the metropolis to sub-urban Ja -Ela where my son lived with his mother. I was day-dreaming how to take the child in my arms, take him on the bike, tell him bedside stories at night, and so on. But I was still riding between Borella Junction, a principal roundabout in Colombo city, and the Welikada signal lights. All of a sudden, the bike back-ended a car and it was all my fault as I was behind the car and lucky for the car, nothing much happened as it had a strong buffer. I fell off the bike and could not get up till the driver in the car stopped it and came and gave me a helping hand. I explained to the driver my reason to speed and he being a, considerate man let me go without making a big fuzz out of it. It was a drizzly evening and I should have known better how to ride in such a wet weather condition. Besides, roads in Colombo are perennially greasy due to constantly leaking fuel from vehicles and one should be extremely cautious when riding or driving on Colombo’s metropolitan roads.

Fourth Misadventure

Real Michael Jackson, till I find a photograph of my friend "Local Jackson" I will use this for this post.

Real Michael Jackson, till I find a photograph of my friend “Local Jackson” I will use this for this post.

This was the most bizarre accident I met with. It happened in 2016. To begin with this episode, I could safely say that the great greedy Greek divine, Bacchus has failed to impose a bacchanalian lifestyle upon me. I partake in intoxicating spirits very rarely, and only if a good company is found at that, and I possess enough courage to say no to any drinking party if I am not in the right mood or if I think the company incompatible with me as far as imbibing is concerned. But on this particular day I was silly enough to drink with Sampath (aka Michael Jackson, due to his Jackson mania and Jackson imitations in his youth) during the bright day light, and that is a thing I never do. He brought some strong alcohol and I am a person who hardly get drunk even with the toughest stuff. I hear this is not something to brag about when it comes to drinking and the ones who do not get intoxicated easily have stronger livers and kidneys to filter away the toxic material that is alcohol various denominations of which were apparently invented and made use of among warring peoples. Despite its somniferous medicinal quality of inducing sleep, its misuse can make imbibers go berserk with its narcotic characteristic anesthetizing the drinker to commit inhuman acts, and it is what the wise say and I, am one such. (Once, at my nephew’s wedding I drank a little more than half of a bottle of hard liquor at Ranorawa, a small hamlet in Anuradhapura, and had a lavish meal and followed by a good shower to cool down the stuff running in my circulation and rode my Bajaj Pulsar 200 up to Kahathuduwa, Piliyandala via Puttalam road, some 220 kilometers and did not have any hiccup on the long ride since I was as fit as a fiddle even after gulping down such a big amount of tough stuff.) However, after the drinking session with ‘Jackson’ he implored me to have lunch with him but I declined and started to ride back home, Mahawilachchiya. It is said that one should not drive without having a meal and get exposed to the wind after a drink as both the acts catalyze the intoxicating process. I brushed off such talks and continued riding. I started feeling sleepy while riding but was okay till Oyamaduwa Junction and took the roundabout properly and all I could remember from there was that the speedometer marked a lot more than 100 kmph and I was on a daze. Bang! I heard I was hitting something big and hard and I was thrown off onto the right side of the road and the bike was on the left side of the road. To make things a comedy of errors, I fell asleep soundly just after the accident. Then I could remember a Buddhist monk coming and helping me to stand up and asking if I needed any medical attention. I said no and thanked the monk for helping. In fact, what had happened was that there was a used-up barrel of tar, filled with soil and placed on the middle of the road to prevent vehicles getting into trouble by falling into the big pot hole created in the middle of the road, during floods. It had been marked with yellow stripes but I was in a differently luminous world by that time and did not have the sobriety sense to see it. I broke my collarbone (which had already been fractured by another silly fall while riding inside a garden at a speed less than 5 kmph) and still I am deprived of playing cricket, my favorite game, for two consecutive years due to this fracture.) After this, I decided never to drive drunk even if I feel totally comfortable. It is putting others’ lives in danger than that of mine. Moreover, I decided not to drink alcohol except Wild Apple beer, which was introduced to me by a foreign friend of mine which is quite harmless and not bitter like other brands of beer. Thus, I have said goodbye all other alcoholic beverages.

Fifth Misadventure

Nanda Wanninayaka on Bajaj Pulsar 150 (A file photo)

Nanda Wanninayaka on Bajaj Pulsar 150 (A file photo)

The fifth and the most recent accident was inevitable and it happened on October 22, 2017. I knew it even before I mounted the iron horse that fateful day. I wanted to go to Colombo to submit my visa application for the then impending trip to Ecuador. But I was never ready for this as I did not feel fit enough for such a ride. You could say that I should have taken public transport if I was not comfortable with it but even if I did, I would still have knocked down by a vehicle even while walking that day as I was never fit or ready for this day. I wanted a good night’s sleep but my elder sister, who worries about me much more than I or anyone else on earth does, kept nagging me that I should come back from Ranorawa the previous evening and go to Colombo the next day. I was annoyed as I wanted to rest at Ranorawa with my other sister and her children and the cute grandchild but it was not to be due to constant coaxing from my sister. So, I had to forget everything and retrun to Anuradhapura the same evening and without a good rest or sleep had to ride to Colombo, 200 km far down, early morning the next day. I passed Dambulla (64 km), Kurunegala (110 km), Alawwa (132 km), and I was surprised why I didn’t still have the inevitable accident! Because I knew it would happen and it was inevitable. Passed Warakapola (147 km,) Weweldeniya (148 km) and Nittambuwa (157 km), still I was riding but knew it was imminent. Opposite Imbulgoda (168 km) fuel station, I saw a small sign board on the road side saying that they sell Katu Anoda (Prickly Custard Apple) juice and I went ahead, turned to the other side of the road and came back to the fruit juice stall by turning the bike the proper way. Bang!!! That was all what I heard and the thud was so strong it made me deaf for a while and I felt I was rolling with the bike several times round by round and then it stopped right on my chest. (While I was rolling, all that came to my mind was if I died or got crippled, what would happen to my son?) I could not move a muscle as the whole weight of the iron horse was on my body. People around later said that they thought I was done for! Anyway, I gathered the strength and tried to move the bike off my chest and then a few people who gathered there helped me. They were furious about the school bus driver who hit me from behind for the simple reason that he could not control his speeding and they were trying to harass him. I told the people to see if the kids in the school bus were hurt first. Luckily, they had survived the jerk and were unhurt. Having heard the news, the owner of the bus also came to the spot and asked if I should be taken to a hospital. I told him that I was not that hurt at that moment and there was less pain but the pains would increase by the evening for sure. Scruples notwithstanding, I rather let them leave the scene of accident or rather a traffic crime (where in fact both parties were guilty) because if this case were to be reported to the police the poor bus driver (his wife had just delivered a baby a few days back according to the driver) would have to lose work for a few days. Besides, I was to go to Ecuador and the last thing we both wanted was a court case dragging sine die. Therefore, we settled the case amicably and the bus owner gave me 20,000 LKR as damage – that was all what he could muster and I accepted it even though I knew already this would cost me a little fortune when I go to the repairer. A real gentleman, a Grama Sewaka (a village headman) called Mr. Wipula Jayawardhana who was extra helpful in assisting me after the accident took me to his home and gave me food and accommodation for the night. This is the typical Sri Lankan hospitality that is displayed anywhere in Sri Lanka. My condition worsened by the evening and I had to return home the next day and the bills of medical checkups alone cost me around 15,000 LKR (97 USD.) And the cost of replacing the digital meter of the bike alone costs 15,000 LKR (97 USD) and I am not sure when I would be able to afford to repair the bike.

The Sixth Misadventure – to be or hopefully not to be

This is yet to happen and let’s hope that I would stay alive to report it. Anyway, now I am extra careful in riding motorbikes mainly because I either borrow or hire bikes now. I am not too sure if I would have the same patience once I mount my own bike will be back after the repairs.

A selection of motorcycle safety URLs (Thanks Sunil Rutnayake for these links and editing my post.)

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com

https://www.msf-usa.org

http://www.smf.org

msf-usa.org/downloads/mom_v16_GS_low_res.pdf

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/04/10-motorcycle-safety-tips-for-new-riders/index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety

https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/maids-motorcycle-accident-study-lessons-921-crashes

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812148

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/safebike/anatomy.html

https://rideapart.com/articles/10-common-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them

http://www.mcrider.com

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/mc/motorcyclesafetyguide-a.pdf

https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-training/motorcycle-manual-motorcycle-safety-program

www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road…/helmet_manual.pdf

http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/report/en/

http://ridermagazine.com/tag/motorcycle-safety/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_training

http://motorcyclesafetynews.com

https://www.msgroup.org/articles.aspx

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ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා, පළාත් සභා සහ පාර්ලිමේන්තු ආසන වෙන්දේසි කරමු.


මම දේශපාලනය ගැන යම් හෝ අදහසක් ඇතිකරගත්තේ ජනාධිපති ජේ. ආර්. ජයවර්ධන යුගයේ සිටය. මා ඉපදුණේ 1972දී නිසාත් ජයවර්ධන මහතා අගමැති වූයේ 1977 නිසාත්, මහවිලච්චියේ “ගිනිපෙට්ටි පාලමේ” අදටත් දැකිය හැකි ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණෙන් 1982 ජනාධිපතිවරණ කාලයේ නොමැකෙන අයුරින් ලියන ලද බව සැළකෙන “මිනීමරු ජේ. ආර්. පන්නමු” යන වැකියත් නිසාත්, ගුවන් විදුලියෙන් සහ (පසු කලෙක රූපවාහිනියෙන්) නිරතුරුවම ඇසුණේ, දැක්කේ ජේ. ආර්. ගේ කතා සහ රුව නිසාත් ඔහු ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොමැකෙන මතකයකි. ඔහු දීර්ඝ කාලයක් තිස්සේ ජනාධිපති ධුරයේ සිටි නිසා මගේ හෝඩියේ පන්තියේ සිට අඹ යහළුවා වූ නවරත්න බණ්ඩා එකල හිතුවේ ජේ. ආර්. යනු පුද්ගලයෙක් නොව තනතුරක් බවය. 1982 ජනාධිපතිවරණය ආසන්නයේ ඔහු මගෙන් ඇහුවේ මේ සැරේ “ජේ. ආර්. කම” කාට යනු ඇතිද යන්නයි.

1982 සිට මේ වනතුරු විවිධ මැතිවරණ රාශියක් පැවැත්වුණ අයුරු මට හොඳින් මතකය. ජේ. ආර්. විසින් ඇතිකළ තක්කඩි පාලනය සහ දූෂිත මැතිවරණ ගැන මට හොඳින් මතකය. ප්‍රේමදාස මහතා ජයග්‍රහණය කළ 1988 ජනාධිපතිවරණය කැරලිකාරී ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ විසින් ජනතාවට තහනම් කළ අයුරු සහ මගේ උසස් පෙළ පන්තියේ මිතුරකු වූ කහටගස්දිගිලියේ හේමන්ත ඡන්ද බලයවත් නැති කොලුගැටයකුව සිටියදී, ජනාධිපත්වරණය දින වෙනත් ගමනක් යනවිට “දේශප්‍රේමී ජනතා පෙරමුණ” විසින් පනවා තිබූ “මුලින්ම ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කරන දස දෙනාට වෙඩි තියනවා” යන මිනීමරු නීතිය නිසා වැදුණ වෙඩි පහරකින් අදටත් කකුලක් කොර ගහමින් යන හැටිද මතකය. අනුරාධපුරයේ සිටි යූ. එන්. පී. යේ තක්කඩි දේශපාලකයන් විසින් මැතිවරණ දිනවලදී මුදාහල භීෂණය නිසා කොතරම් මිනිසුන් වෙඩි පහරකා මිය ගියාද, තුවාල ලැබුවද යන සංඛ්‍යාලේඛන කොතැනක හෝ වාර්තාකර තිබේදැයි මම නොදනිමි.

ප්‍රේමදාස ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ අකල් මරණයත් සමග පිං ජනාධිපතිකමක් ලැබුණ ඩී. බී. විජේතුංගගේ කාලයේදී බැරිම තැන යූ. එන්. පී මදකිපුණු අලියාට අන්තිමට චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග ඉදිරියේ දණනමන්නට සිදුවිය. “නෙළුම් කුමාරිය” සහ සාමයේ සංකේතය වූ චන්ද්‍රිකා ජනාධිපතිනිය වූ පසු වැඩි කලක් නොයාම පැවැත්වුණ කුප්‍රකට වයඹ මැතිවරණය නින්දිත ලෙස මහ දවල් කොල්ලකෑ හැටි ඔබට අමතක නැති යැයි සිතමි.

2005 දී දේශපාලනිකව ඉතාම අවාසි සහගතව තත්වයක සිටි එවකට අගමැති මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ (කියන පරිදි කොටි ත්‍රස්තවාදීන් සමග ගිවිසුමක් ගසා හෝ) ඉතා සුළු බහිතරයකින් ජනාධිපති වූ ආකාරයත්, ඉතාම නිර්භීත ලෙස සහ මෝඩ ලෙස (වෙනම පැහැදිලි කළ යුතුය.) යුද්ධය දිනා ටික කලකින්ම ජනතාවට එපා වූ අයුරුත් ඔබට මතකය. සිය සෙල්ලක්කාර පුතුන්ගේ තුන් මෝඩ වික්‍රමයන් (adventures of the three idiots) සහ අඩුම තරමින් එක සහෝදරයකුගේ හෝ (කළ බව කියන) රාජ්‍ය දේපල කොල්ලකෑම සහ අසීමිත කොමිස් ගැසීම් නිසා වෙලාවටත් කලින් ගෙදර යාමට රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට සිදුවිණි. අන්තිමට දැන් ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේනද සියල්ලම තමන්ට එදිරිව සිටියදී (against all odds) ඉතාමත් අපහසු ජනාධිපතිවරණයකින් ජයගෙන දැනට එම පදවිය දරයි.

මේ කෙටි ඉතිහාසය ඔබට මතක් කළේ වෙන කිසිවක නිසා නොව මගේ පහත දැක්වෙන කෙටි ෆේස්බුක් සටහනට ප්‍රතිචාරයක් ලෙස ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ නොකර සිටීමේ භයානක කම ගැන මට තාර්කික උපදෙස් දුන් හිතවතියකගේ ප්‍රතිචාරයට මම ලියන්නට උත්සහ කළ පිළිතුර දුරදිග යාම නිසා වෙනම බ්ලොග් ලිපියක් පළකළ යුතුයැයි සිතුණ නිසාය. මෙන්න ඒ මගේ ෆේස්බුක් සටහන.

“මහවිලච්චියේ ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා ඡන්ද උණුසුම.

 

මේ මහවිලච්චියේ තාවකාලික දේශපාලන පක්ෂ කාර්යාල දෙකක්. තියෙන්නේ බෝගස් හන්දියේ. එකිනෙකට මුහුණලා තිබුණත් තවමනම් “අං පටලවාගෙන” නැහැ. (අපහාසයට ලියූවක් නොවේ “lock horns” යන ඉංග්‍රීසි යෙදුමේ සෘජු පරිවර්තනයකි. | no offense meant. Just the direct translation of the term “lock horns.”)

මේ පින්තූරවල ඉන්නා කිසිම කෙනෙක් මා හඳුනන්නේ නැත. හඳුනාගත්තත් ඔවුන්ට මගෙන් වැඩක් නැත. මම තවදුරටත් මහවිලච්චියේ ඡන්ද දායකයකු නොවෙමි. මම මහවිලච්චියේ ඡන්දදායකයකු වුවත් මම ඡන්දය පාවිච්චි නොකරමි. මා ඡන්දය පාවිච්චි කළ එකම අවස්ථාව 2005 ජනාධිපතිවරණයයි. විනාශකාරී යුද්ධය අවසන් කළ හැකි යයි සිතූ අපේක්ෂකයාට ඡන්දය දුන්නෙමි. ඔහු එය හොඳින් හෝ නරකින් ඉටු කළේය. ඊට පසු මගේ ඡන්දයෙන් කාටවත් පලක් නැති බව දැනගත් හෙයින් ඡන්දය දීමෙන් වැළකී සිටින්නෙමි.”

මීට එම මගේ හිතවතිය දුන් ඇයගේ ප්‍රතිචාරය මෙතන පලනොකරන්නේ ෆේස්බුක් යනු වැසුණ වපසරියක් (closed environment) තුළ සිදුවන ක්‍රියාවලියක් නිසාත්, එම වැසුණ වපසරිය තුළ ඇය තැබූ සටහන මෙහි පළකිරීම සදාචාර විරෝධී යයි හිතෙන නිසාත්ය.

කෙසේ හෝ, මම මුලින් ලියූ කෙටි මැතිවරණ ඉතිහාසය ඔබ හොඳින් විශ්ලේෂණය කළහොත් ඔබට දැනෙන්නේ මැතිවරණ වලදී ඡන්දදයකයන් ඒ සඳහා වැය කරන කාලය සහ රටක් ලෙස මැතිවරණ පැවැත්වීමට වැය කරන විශාල ධනස්කන්ධය සැබවින්ම බලාපොරොත්තු ප්‍රතිඵල ලබාදේදැයි සිතාබැලීම වටින බවයි.

ඔබ කැමති (හෝ අඩුවෙන්ම අකමැති) පුද්ගලයන් හෝ පක්ෂයන් බලයට පත්කළ පසු 1948 සිට මේ දක්වාම බලයට පත්වූ පුද්ගලයන් සහ පක්ෂ ජනතා කැමැත්ත හෝ මැතිවරණ පොරොන්දු ශත පහකට මායිම් නොකරන බව ඔබට පැහැදිලිවම දකින්නට පුළුවන. ජේ. ආර්. ජයවර්ධන වරක් පැවසුවේ “ මම මිනිසුන්ට ඇහුම්කන් දෙනවා, හැබැයි මම කරන්නේ මට ඕනේ දේ.” (I listen to people but I do what I want.) මෑත කාලයේදී නෙළුම් කුමාරියගේ සිට සුපිරිසිදු මහත්මයා (Mr. Clean) දක්වා අයත් ඊට පහළින් ඇමති, මැති, පළාත් සභිකයන් සහ ප්‍රාදේශීය සභිකයන් කරන්නෙත් මෙයම නොවේද?

මේ සියල්ල සලල්කිල්ලට ගත්කල මගේ සීමිත දේශපාලන සහ ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා දැනුමත් සැලකිල්ලට ගත් කළ මට හැඟෙන්නේ නිකං අපරාදේ ජනතා මුදල්, කාලය සහ සම්පත් විනාශකර මැතිවරණ පවත්වනවාට වඩා වඩාත් වැඩදායක වන්නේ පහළම මට්ටමේ සිට ඉහළම මට්ටම දක්වා සියලු මැතිවරණ වෙනුවට එම සභිකයින්ගේ තනතුරු වෙන්දේසි කර වැඩිම ගණුම්කරුවාට ලබාදෙන එක වඩාත් වැඩදායී සහ කාලෝචිත බවයි. මෙය කියවන ඔබට තදවීමට පුළුවන. “ජනතා පරමාධිපත්‍ය” වෙන්දේසි කළ හැකිද යන්න ඔබ ප්‍රශ්න කළ හැක. ඒත් ඔබ මම දෙදෙනාම දන්නා කරුණ නම් එහෙම කෙහෙම්මලක් තිබුණානම් මහබැංකු කොල්ලය වැනි මගෝඩි වැඩ කරන විට ඔබට ඔවුන්ට දඬුවම් කිරීමට නොහැකිවුවත් ගෙදර යැවීමට වත් හැකි විය යුතුය. සුපිරි ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී බලතල තිබෙන රටවල එහෙම වෙන බව ඔබ දන්නවා ඇත. මෙය recall election (also called a recall referendum or representative recall) ලෙස ස්විට්සර්ලන්තයේ හැඳින්වේ.

ඔබ පත්කරන ජනතා නියෝජිතයන් කරන්නේ ඔබේ කැමැත්ත හෝ අකමැත්තට ඉටුකිරීම පසෙක තබා ගමේ බෝක්කුවේ සිට මහා පරිමාණ ව්‍යපෘති දකවා සියලුම දේවල් ව්‍යාපාරික අරමුණුවලින් අනුව බව අපි දැන් හොඳින් පසක් කරගෙන සිටිමු. ඉතිං නැති ජනතා පරමාධිපත්‍යයක් ගැන කයිවාරු ගහනවා වෙනුවට මම යෝජනා කරන පරිදි ප්‍රසිද්ධ වෙදෙසියේ ඉහත තනතුරු වෙන්දේසි කර ඒ මුදල (කොල්ල කනබව දැන දැනත්) මහා භාණ්ඩාගාරයට යවා ඉහළ ලංසු තැබූ අයට බලය දී දැන් මේ ඉන්නවා වගේම බලාසිටිනු හැර අපට කළ හැකි යමක් තිබේද? ප්‍රසිද්ධ වෙන්දේසියේදී අනිවාර්යයෙන් මුදල් විසිකළ හැකි අය බලයට පත්වනු ඇත. ඔවුන් ව්‍යාපාරික අරමුණු අනුව රට පාලනය කරනු ඇත. දැන් සිදුවන්නේත් එයම නොවේද? ජනතා පරමාධිපත්‍යය නම් ටොෆි කොළය ඔතා අපිට දෙන්නේ තුට්ටු දෙකේ බුල්ටෝ එකක් නොවේද?

(මේ ලිපියේ සමහර තැන්වල වරහන් තුළ ඉංග්‍රීසි වචන යොදා ඇත්තේ එහි අදහස සිංහලෙන් හරියටම යෙදුවාදැයි මට සැකයක් ඇතිවුණ අවස්ථාවලදීය. සිංහල සහ ඉංග්‍රීසි භාෂා දෙකේම ප්‍රාමාණික දැනුමක් මට නැතැයි සිතමි.)

Koradekumbura, the first and only Karate Village in Sri Lanka


Jayaweera Jayasundara with the villages of Koradekumbura

Jayaweera Jayasundara with the villages of Koradekumbura

Having learnt from my good friend Mr. Daya Wijesinghe from Kandana, that there is a small rural mountainous hamlet in Badulla district, which runs a very successful program of a whole village getting together to do physical exercises and karate practices,  I decided to go and see for myself  this village. It was night when I reached the village of Koradekumbura. I stayed at the house of Mr. Jayaweera Jayasundara, the founder of the karate program. I was woken up by Jayaweera early in the morning of May 17, 2017.  I had asked him to do so to see how his “students” practice physical exercises in the early hours of the day in the village playground.  Mr. Jayaweera arranged a three wheeler for me and I felt uncomfortable, as to why I could not walk to the venue, while all others in the village just walked, jogged or ran to the playground. I suppose he wanted his guest to be comfortable.

It was about 5.20 am when we reached the village playground; already there were more than 50 children, adults and seniors assembled in the playground. They had already started doing physical exercises. There were more adults and seniors than the young.  I was surprised to see the range of ages of the villagers who came for the karate and physical exercises. Kids as young as 5 to seniors as old as 80+!!!

The practice had begun last year and it gathers momentum every day. All of the 82 students in Medainna Primary School in Koradekumbura start karate practices from 6.30 am to 7.00 am. Altogether, around 130 children and 100 adults do both physical exercises at dawn and karate practices in the evenings. Around 25 young girls and women do stick fighting. With such numbers in a small village like this, it may be the village with fittest people in Sri Lanka. One could observe at the very first instance that the inhabitants of this village are all in a very fit physical state.

The program and the structure Mr. Jayaweera has formed seem very strong that even without his presence, the program will continue. He formed a Parents Association to run the project. Each member contributes 200/- LKR per month towards the expenses for attending tournaments etc. But the Founder of the Program Mr. Jayaweera does all his training totally free of charge. Though money can be counterproductive for a genuine initiative like this, I am still of the view that Mr. Jayaweera’s great service has to be recognized and rewarded in some way. Aligning a whole village for karate practice and physical exercise is no easy task anywhere in the world.

Mr. Jayaweera wanted to have a building to carry out the karate practices during rainy days, which is a regular occurrence   in this mountainous village. Having understood the importance of the program by being an active member of the trainees, one of the members of the sports program and also the treasurer of the Parents Association Mr. B. N. P. Somarathna donated a quarter acres of his land situated in a strategic location in the village.  Mr. Somarathna also works as Mr. Jayaweera’s deputy in the sports program in the latter’s absence. Their dream is to build a 90×35 feet building (auditorium), to house the training program. The estimated cost is around 3.5 million LKR. I feel it is your duty to help complete this project and make this a good example for the rest of the country that usually waits for the government to do everything.

Non communicable diseases such as; cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory problems, diabetes and cancer are the main problems in Sri Lanka, claiming 103,500 lives each year. (http://www.searo.who.int/srilanka/areas/noncommunicable_diseases/en/) It was this reason that Mr. Jayaweera, being a retired Physical Health Instructor, was instrumental in starting the sports program.

Should not both the State and Private Sector take this physically fit village as an example and replicate it across all over Sri Lanka?

If the current Minister of Sports, Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara is as interested as he shows in physical fitness of the people, I suggest that he visit this village in person and spend a day and then take this golden example and replicate it throughout the island by using Mr. Jayaweera as the national consultant to the program. Appointing an official from an air-conditioned office from Colombo will not be as effective as Mr. Jayaweera, who is a son of the soil.

 

 

Motorcycle Journeys – Trip to Bandarawela from Mahawilachchiya with Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia


Our route from Mahawilachchiya to Dambana

Our route from Mahawilachchiya to Dambana

I started the trip to Bandarawela from Mahawilachchiya around 7.00 am on May 15, 2017 with Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia and reached Mirahawatta (off Bandarawela) via Mahiyanganaya the first day. Despite having an international license, Aleksander could not ride the bike as my Bajaj Pulsar 150 is not a model he had any experience with. In fact, it was my fault that I did not give him enough time to get accustomed to my bike during his stay in Mahawilachchiya.

On the bund of Mahawilachchiya Reservoir

On the bund of Mahawilachchiya Reservoir

Aleksandar Isailović on the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir

Aleksandar Isailović on the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir

Scene from the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Scene from the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

We had breakfast at my sister’s house in Anuradhapura and proceeded to Dambulla first. From Dambulla, we took the road via Kandalama – Bakamuna – Laggala up to Mahiyanganaya. The road from Dambulla to Bakamuna was not carpeted as yet but it was still a pretty good road and we never had any problems with the road condition. We had lunch at a small place at Girandurukotte. It was a delicious lunch with fresh vegetables and freshwater fish.

Bridge of Yodha Ela in Bakamuna

Bridge of Yodha Ela in Bakamuna

Ricefields in Girandurukotte

Ricefields in Girandurukotte

At Girandurukotte

At Girandurukotte

After lunch, we proceeded to Mahiyanganaya then to Dambana where the Vedda (a Sri Lankan aboriginal ingenious tribe) people live. I have been to this place several times and hence I personally know Vedda tribal chief, Mr. Uruwarige Waniyaleththo. The houses in Dambana are very eco-friendly. They are made with mud walls and hay stacks roof. You don’t feel the heat that thrust upon the village by the hot sun. We had a chat with the chief and then came back to Mahiyanganaya and then proceeded to Bandarawela. Roads are very well done, thanks to the previous government.

Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

The roof of the hut of Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

The roof of the hut of Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

With Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

We took some pictures at beautiful Loggaloya Lake. This place is so beautiful and even if you spend hours here you won’t feel enough.

The route we took from Dambana to Mirahawatta.

The route we took from Dambana to Mirahawatta.

Aleksandar Isailović at Loggal Oya

Aleksandar Isailović at Loggal Oya

Mahiyanganaya - Badulla Road

Mahiyanganaya – Badulla Road

The little tea shop we had tea on Mahiyanganaya - Badulla road

The little tea shop we had tea on Mahiyanganaya – Badulla road

We resumed the journey to Badulla and spent some time in Badulla, the small town where I spent honeymoon for year!!! Badulla is a very peaceful and beautiful small town. I love this place.

We left for Bandarawela and met my friend Nimal Gunarathna there. He is a computer teacher in Devananda School, Mirahawatta. He also conducts some private tuition classes in Bandarawela town. We spent night at his house and had a delicious dinner cooked by Nimal’s wife. We had a wonderful tight sleep as the weather was cool and there was not a single mosquito to disturb with their buzz.

Nilminimala – A Budding Young Artist


 

Nilminimala Smile

Nilminimala Ariyarathna

This was written by me in March, 2000

Having seen some extraordinarily beautiful paintings that were done by a young village lass, I was desperate to meet the artist. She lived in a very remote typically traditional village on the outskirts of Mihinthale, Anuradhapura. I visited the artist personally with a teacher of mine on Sunday the 24 of March 2002. The road to her village was through some beautiful rice fields and a lush jungle. Most fascinating sight was the ancient Maha Kanadarawa reservoir.

nilminimala painting1

Nilminimala with one of her paintings.

We were warmly welcomed by the artist herself, a 20 year old, clad in a traditional dress called ‘cheeththa’. The whole appearance of Nilminimala, the artist, looked more like one of her own paintings. This typically shy village lass had something that most Sri Lankan girls do not possess – hazel eyes. One cannot accept the fact that she is an amateur in painting. The colors she uses, though very cheap ordinary water colors, are amazingly matching. The painting which caught my eyes was the ‘blue lady’s painting done only with different blue shades of the color blue.

Nilminimala Painting2

Nilminimala with one of her paintings.

She draws oil paintings as well. Most of her paintings depict rural village scenes with shepherds, beautiful damsels, people working in rice fields, girls bathing in rivers, etc. Having asked why she paints village scenes she says, “That’s all I see in and around the village. I’m fascinated by the surroundings. I wonder why the city people mock at these villages for the simple fact that the villages are rural. Yes we don’t have the facilities the city folks have, but we have the freedom and the calmness which you’ll never have in a city.”

I too understood that it is the environment that produced this budding artist. She must be the luckiest person to have a mother who teaches in the village school, and a parent who encouraged the child to choose a field like painting in spite of the fact that such proficiency do not have a demand in the job market.

nilminimala painting3

Nilminimala with one of her paintings.

To my question about her future aspects as a professional painter, her replay was;

“I love painting and I do it for fun. I can spend hours on a painting. It takes a long time to finish a good painting”.

Unfortunately she doesn’t know the real value of her own paintings. She says that her paintings have never been appreciated except by her mother and other teachers who taught her art of drawing.

Nilminimala

I showed some pictures that I had edited with a computer and she was greatly impressed and was keen to learn it. Her deep interest indicated that she has the potential of becoming a most talented computer graphic artist too. Buying a computer with the necessary software is far above reach for her.

Nilminimala will be a part of Horizon and Horizon website would be decorated with her artwork with the next update.

P. S.

Unfortunately this plan did not work. Had the plans went the exact way we expected, things would have been very different by now. She could have been the next Picasso. Such a talent going into the waste ………. Life is like that.

Rambutan Season 2015


Anthony Tissera, a rambutan seller in Ja-Ela along Colombo - Katunayake Airport road

Anthony Tissera, a rambutan seller in Ja-Ela along Colombo – Katunayake Airport road

For the last three years, I have been writing a post on rambutan season each year consecutively. After reading my posts, two gentlemen from an Indian fruit farm called Homegrown www.homegrown.in visited Sri Lanka and took rambutan fruits and plants to India. They were particularly interested in Malwana rambutan variety. Now they grow Malwana rambutans in their farm in Kerala, India. They personally visited Malwana with me to see rambutan gardens. I too bought two plants two years back and one survived and thriving now. I learnt from my Indian friends that their plants are also growing well.

Rambutan on display at Kalagedihena

Rambutan on display at Kalagedihena

This time around rambutan harvest has been very good just like the last two years. As a result the price of a single fruit has come down to 5 rupees in Colombo and suburbs and in Kandy as I checked the prices myself. In Malwana, a fruit costs around 3 rupees according to the rambutan sellers in Kalagedihena along the Colombo – Kandy road. Rambutan prices in Anuradhapura, my hometown, is little expensive. They sell 15 fruits for 100 rupees. But fresh fruits are available in Anuradhapura unlike in the past.

A pregnant woman selling rambutans in Kalagedihena. It was from people like this that the notorious deputy minister allegedly collected commissions.

A pregnant woman selling rambutans in Kalagedihena. It was from people like this that the notorious deputy minister allegedly collected commissions.

It was reported this year that a politician, a deputy minister from the previous government took a cut from the small scale rambutan sellers in Gampaha district, his electorate, by force. After his party was defeated at the presidential election in early January this year, rambutan sellers lodged a complaint against the former deputy minister. He was so corrupt that his own party rejected his nomination to contest to the parliamentary election scheduled to be held in August this year along with some other former MPs who have corruption and drug trafficking allegations. This is a good move. It is sickening to hear that a person in the capacity of a deputy minister collecting commissions from the poor rambutan sellers. Imagine what he must have taken from the mega projects in his electorate and in the capacity of a deputy minister in his ministry.

Rambutan on a creative display in Digana, Kandy

Rambutan on a creative display in Digana, Kandy

OK. Back to rambutans. According to the sellers, the season will last around three more weeks and this is the peak of the season. Prices will fluctuate according to availability of the fruits in coming weeks. So, if you want to visit Sri Lanka to taste rambutans, this is the high time you visited. Do not regret and postpone your visit. If you visit Sri Lanka these days, you will see rambutans from the airport road itself to almost all parts of Sri Lanka. Mohammad, an experienced young driver from Colombo who can speak decent English has been our chauffer during our visits to Malwana and you too can contact him on 071-2669696 and arrange a trip to Malwana rambutan gardens. He knows the right places and people. Just let him know in advance. His fares are reasonable as well.

Though there are two colors of rambutans as red and yellow, red variety is the most sought after by the customers though the tastewise there is no big difference. Malwana variety is the most popular over other types that come from adjoining areas of Malwana.

These are some useful links to websites about rambutans. Apparently, there is a dedicated site called www.rambutan.com with a lot of information and lovely pictures. Though the site design is not very professional, it has a lot of necessary information.

  1. Rambutan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan

  2. Opening the rambutan – http://www.rambutan.com/

  3. Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka – http://www.agridept.gov.lk/index.php/crop-recommendations/1083-rambutan

No More Live International Cricket On Channel Eye Please


Sri-Lanka-vs-Bangladesh-21

I was among the millions of happy cricket fans when it was announced that the Sri Lanka’s Bangladesh cricket tour was going to be telecasted live on Channel Eye for the simple reason that Channel Eye has clearer signals than Carlton Sports Network (CSN.) In addition to that, we were not happy about the unusual circumstances that resulted CSN grabbing live cricket from Channel Eye in an unethical manner.

But after the conclusion of the Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka I feel that live cricket telecasting be better off without Channel Eye. Channel Eye disturbed the viewers throughout the Test series with hourly Tamil news updates that resulted viewers missing even very important milestones during the games.

Things got worse with the start of the one day series. (I cannot comment about the T20 series as I could not watch it.) During the ODI series, Channel Eye stopped live telecast for almost 15 minutes for 7pm Tamil news telecast. This is very unfair to the cricket fans. We expect an uninterrupted coverage. Channel Eye doesn’t have an ethical right to disconnect the live coverage for something else. If they cannot provide uninterrupted coverage, they should have let some other channel to buy the telecasting rights in the first place. Or they could have easily transferred newscasts to their sister channels Rupavahini or NTV without interrupting live cricket. But this did not happen.

CSN also brings us full repeat telecasts the next day for those who missed the live matches. But Channel Eye restricts matches only to nightly highlights. CSN finds enough advertisements to run even during repeat telecasting bringing profits to the channel. Channel Eye, being a channel that runs with the taxpayer money, cannot find enough advertisements even for live Test matches. This shows sheer inefficiency of the state channel.

So, like many others now, I prefer CSN to telecast live cricket matches that Sri Lanka take part even with not-so-good signals. At least they provide uninterrupted live coverage. Channel Eye does not understand priorities so they should not be given live international cricket that Sri Lanka feature anymore.

Miniature Sailing Ships – Wishmitha Handicraft, Seeduwa


A yellow ship

A yellow ship

When I ride towards Negombo from Ja-Ela I had seen this place called Wishmitha Handicraft which produces wooden miniature sailing ships. Today I thought of exploring the shop. It is full of sailing ships of different colors and sizes. The proprietor and the creator is a guy called Liyanage Sumedha. He has ships in a price range from 750 to 35,000 rupees. He was making one worth 30,000 rupees when I met him. He already had a buyer for it and the buyer decides the color and the size. He says that people who believe in Feng shui art buy the miniature ships to decorate their houses. They believe that the ships bring the house prosperity. But if you keep the ship in the wrong way it brings bad luck. Ask him what side should be exposed to the door side.

Liyanage Sumedha, the Artist

Liyanage Sumedha, the Artist

Sumedha’s buyers range from locals to foreigners. Foreigners usually buy the smaller sized ones as they find it difficult to take the bigger ones home in the plane. Some foreigners have promised him a lot, like providing opportunities to export his ships to their countries but those nice talks were just limited to talks, nothing more. He is still hopeful though.

A Set of Ships

A Set of Ships

Ships are colorful and beautiful. They are mainly made with wood and for sails, Sumedha uses some kind of papers that are colored with a spray gun. He sprays different colors into papers to get the desired colors of the ships. When he sprays these things you should look at him. His clothes are also painted with the spray gun and he himself looks like a painting. I am not sure you can buy that painting though.

A big ship

A big ship

The sailing ship maker, Liyanage Sumedha is a 32-year-old man originally from Hokandara. When asked how he got into the ship business, he told me that he once made a miniature sailing ship by looking at a picture some 5 years ago. There was a buyer for it. Since his friends encouraged him to produce more he ventured into making sailing ships as a business. He moved to Seeduwa and rented this place and opened up the shop.  Some sailors, after seeing his ships, advised Sumedha on the designs and finishing of the ships. A keen learner, Sumedha includes those changes in his new ships. There are two more helpers who work under Sumedha now. His father also helps him in the ship making.

A grey ship

A grey ship

Both Sirasa TV and the Sunday Times newspaper have covered his creative venture last year and sales increased heavily thanks to the publicity they gave him. He says he still gets orders from outstations due to that publicity.

A set of ships

A set of ships

Ships look really nice. There is no doubt you too will feel like owning one if you saw his ships with your own eyes. His excellence cannot be shown better with a newspaper, TV or on internet pictures. You have to be there and see how neat the sailing ships are.

Steve Jobs Theory

There are some wooden trishaws, bullock carts, kerosene oil carts of yesteryear in the collection, separately from the ships. But I don’t see the logic of selling this common stuff that can be bought elsewhere. It only distracts the customer. Like Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs thought a producer should sell only what is unique for him, not small stuff that doesn’t add value to the main product. If I were Sumedha, I would throw away all these small stuff and keep more ships at display instead.

I liked the open air shop a lot, though it is little untidy and disorganized, I think you should try to buy a ship or two to keep at your home, not because that I believe in Feng shui but because of just the beauty of the ships.

Wishmitha Handicraft, Opposite Police Station, Seeduwa

Telephone 077-1639034

A grey ship

A grey ship

We Don’t Understand This Cricket


From www.dailynews365.com

Sanath Jayasuriya – The picture from http://www.dailynews365.com

Sri Lanka cricket team doesn’t perform that well for some time now. They are not that bad as well. They became runners up in two consecutive World Cups and two Twenty20 World Cups. More than the talents of the players, there is a problem with the way the team is selected.

Many including me believed that with Sanath Jayasuriya at the helm of the Selection Committee things would go right. But it is not to be. His committee makes ridiculous decisions that none of the former committees made.

Take a look at the way the senior cricketers are being “rested.” They rested Mahela, Dilshan, Kumar, Rangana, Lasith, etc. who were performing well while almost all the newcomers failed to make an impression barring, maybe Thisara Perera at times, but not that consistently. This affected the team’s overall results during the ODI and T20 series just concluded against South Africa. There is no argument that young blood should be infused to the national team. But there is an accepted way to do that. Usually other countries provide opportunities for young players during practice matches and A team matches and through domestic tournaments. Once a cricketer is well-seasoned only he is taken to the national team, that too is when a senior player is retired, injured or omitted due to lack of performance.

Here in Sri Lanka, the best performers are rested and young players are drawn into the national team in a surprising haste damaging the very careers of those young players as they have failed in the big leagues after being drafted to national team.

Sri Lanka has this crazy idea of playing underperforming youngsters just after a series victory. Other national teams don’t do it and when they are 3-0 in the series they want to make it 5-0, not 3-2. But our decision makers have a yearning for playing youngsters and losing remaining matches. A win means a lot in international cricket. Teams are seeded due to wins and losses, not according to series victories. Other teams don’t “test” their young players at a cost of a match. They have other stages where they are tested as mentioned above. But we have an idiotic system to risk victories to make way for so called young players. This is why Sri Lanka cricket team goes deep down and suddenly reemerges again thanks to individual talents of some players, not winning as a team. A team’s composition shouldn’t be shaken much. The core of the team should be consistent and when there is a vacancy, a young man who does well can be drafted in. Young players have to sharpen themselves till they get an opportunity.

But what the Selection Committee did was to risk victories by resting senior players who did well at a time younger players were not living up to expectations. This is not fair by those senior players’ perspectives. While winning matches for the country, those players too should be allowed to go for personal milestones as well. A sudden resting while performing well can hamper all his form. Sri Lanka had to pay dearly in the T20 series with South Africa’s lead of 2-1 which could have turned the other way round if the senior players played. It was the senior players who made a difference throughout the series, not young players.

We have also a very funny way of grooming captains. Today the captains are the players who were struggling to cement their places in the team few months ago, let alone captaining it. What is the message given to them by appointing them captains while still trying to make it to the team? They take it for granted and start playing irresponsibly. See the way both Angelo and Dinesh playing. None of them is performing impressively. They should have been kept at bay till they become consistent performers before making them captains. If their cricketing lives are to end prematurely due to unexpected appointments as captains, the selection committee has to take the responsibility.

Both Kumar and Mahela cannot say that they can’t lead the national team. They are the seasoned ones and should have been captains till the end of their careers. This is how they do it in Australia and England. They find new captains only when the older captains reach retirement age or fail miserably. Both Kumar and Mahela resigned after taking the team to World Cup finals. They should have been retained as captains for the country’s sake. If they say no, that is totally snubbing their employer, Sri Lanka Cricket. Actions should have been taken for snubbing. (But there are these gossips that they were forced to resign also.) They were decent captains and their performances were never affected by the weight of the captaincy as both of them were seasoned enough by the time they became captains.

I’m not too sure about the common opinion that Jayasuriya is avenging the seniors who were against the former’s inclusion in the national side at a time he was not performing. This could perhaps be true. But what Jayasuriya has to understand is that none of the present day seniors opposed him due to his age. They opposed him because he didn’t perform and he was in the team as an MP and enjoyed extra privileges and used his political links to make it to the team.  But Jayasuriya has no ethical right to “rest” the seniors for the simple reason that they opposed him at the earlier team selections.

I would advise Jayasuriya to pay attention to his political aspirations than messing up national cricket anymore. He has done enough as a player for cricket and we don’t need his service as a selector anymore.

‘The Buddhist’ Radio Station


thebuddhist

A friend of mine recommended me The Buddhist radio station. I have watched The Buddhist TV both on satellite and terrestrial TV but was fed up with repetition of programs that appear former Chief Justice. I never liked the channel and did not recommend it to anyone either. When my friend recommended me the radio station, I didn’t expect much.

But I listened to The Buddhist radio for few days since January 01st. It turned out to be a good station. It broadcasts songs that are related to Buddhism. I like them because the songs sound pretty good since they had been recorded before octopads came into the scene. Male voices of the announcers are deep while the female voices are sweet. Announcers sound intelligent and don’t chatter like in other FM stations.

As for the sermons, they have selected not-so-famous Buddhist monks most of the times. The monks who dominate the TV channels on Poya days are hardly heard on The Buddhist. Sermons sound good and on different topics. They repeat the same sermon thrice within three days. Station runs on 24/7 basis.

The Buddhist radio is broadcasted from Sambodhi Viharaya, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7. The frequencies of the broadcast are 101.3 MHz FM (Colombo & Kandy) and 101.5 MHz FM (Down South.) They also have a webcast through http://www.thebuddhist.tv/liveradio.php. The programs are broadcast on Sinhala, Tamil and English.