Friday, December 10, 2010

Arippu:The Abandoned,Ancient TAMIL Seaport,Ruined & Forgotten.!?SINHALA Vijaya’s landing with his followers in Thamiraparani TAMIL VILLAGE.!!??

The Abandoned,
Ancient Seaport, Ruined and Forgotten
December 10, 2010, 12:00 pm

by M.U.A.Tennakoon, P hD, DSc

Arippu was the ancient seaport of Sri Lanka during the time of the Anuradhapura kingdom. The stone bridge (gal palama) constructed across the Malwatu Oya which leaves the ancient Anuradhapura city boundary north-westwards bears testimony to a road linkage of Anuradhapura with the Arippu seaport in the northwestern coast of the island, very close to a point where the Malwatu Oya enters the Gulf of Mannar. This was the ancient gateway of the island to the Indian sub-continent as well as to the Arabian Sea.

Being so near to India, people from the Peninsular India may have crossed the narrow sea strip between the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka in frail boats from India even during the proto-historic Iron Age (1,500 -500 B.C.). Since they have come from relatively low rainfall areas of the Sind valley in the northwestern part of the Indian sub-continent the dry peninsular Indian parts of the Deccan plateau and finally from the dry southernmost India , they brought crops such as finger-millets (kurakkan or Eleucine coracana)), mustard, and cotton to be cultivated in the equally drier parts of the northwestern Sri Lanka under rain-fed conditions long before irrigate agriculture evolved in Sri Lanka by about third century B.C. (Panabokke, 2010 and Tennakoon,2010). Thus the northwestern part of Sri Lanka, that is, that part of the land to the northwest and west of Anuradhapura was long under sedentary human habitation first with rain-fed highland farming and very much later that was the during the Early Historic ‘circa’ 500 B.C and the subsequent Middle Historic period commenced by about 300 A.D,. with irrigated farming where it was possible.

This land, that is the northwestern part of the Anuradhapura kingdom was clearly the land of dry grain cultivation from immemorial times of our history. This we got to bear in mind in any future expansion of dry grain cultivation to supplement or support rice farming to feed the millions, that, this particular land area in the northeastern Sri Lanka is of vital importance. It is fatal to ignore the significance of dry grains in feeding an increasing population anywhere in the Tropical World.. It is also noteworthy to keep in mind that 60 % of food of over a billion of people in India comes from dry grains!.

Vijaya’s landing with his followers in Thamrapanni in this populous northwestern region may not have been a pure accidental event. They may have had a prior knowledge of the populous Northwestern Sri Lanka which would have been the cradle of that past civilization, though the later day monk authors of our history have down played this area’s significance.

The prominent seaport, Arippu, in this area appeared to have played a significant role in the external relations of the Anuradhapura kingdom not only with South India, but with the countries in the eastern rim-land of the Middle East. The archaeological evidence unearthed in Anuradhapura shows that there were also exchange of emissaries and ambassadors with far flung western kingdoms such as the Roman Empire. Such vital links would have bee through Arippu.

With the decline of the Anuradhapura kingdom, after about 700 A.D. and the final abandonment of it as the state capital in favour of Polonnaruwa in 900 A,D. due to a variety of political and economic reasons and Gokanna (Trincomalee) becoming the new gateway of Rajarata to the world, the importance of Arippu as the national seaport had gradually faded in to oblivion.

Historical evidence of clear references to Arippu are hard to come by there after until the 17th century when Robert Knox refers to it in describing his ‘escape route’ from the Kandyan Kingdom very roughly following the course of the Malwatu Oya to Arippu to join a Dutch vessel, ending an 18-year imprisonment in Sri Lanka.

From the early 16th century to the 19th century, the western sea fairing nations such as the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British with a lust for trade and conquest were interested in the maritime areas of the island. The British had a keen desire to hold sway in the northwestern coast of the island mainly because pearl fishery in the Gulf of Mannar and particularly from Kondachchi to Vankalai with the bay of Arippu as the epicenter of pearl fishery.

A t the beginning of the 19th century, pearl fishery was the number one revenue source of the British invaders. Therefore, they established a permanent post in Arippu. Fredric North, the First British Governor in Sri Lanka had a permanent residence established by 1804 in Arppu.

Very near the Governor’s Bungalow there is a part of the foundation of a building which was most probably where the governor used to address the native pearl fishermen and other person in sundry businesses. Further inland from the Bungalow at a ‘stone’s throw distance’ from it, there remains a partially destroyed small chapel, which means the governor had spend considerably continuous periods of time if not during the entire pearl fishing season of about seven months of the year until the onset of the rough southwest monsoon in the month of May.

As the above mentioned notice reads, the governor’s two-storied mansion had four .bedrooms, a large meeting/dining hall, a staircase leading to the upstairs of the mansion from the central hall and many other utility areas, built on a low cliff at a stone’s throw distance from the then prevailing beach. The centuries of sea erosion had not only eroded that land space between the then beach an d the mansion but it has caved in to the very basement of the building, making a half of it to collapse in to the sea. The process is still continued unabated.

The special interests of the British in having Arippu under their sway appeared to have lasted through the second half of the 19th century when they were actively engaged in plantation agriculture in the Hill Country. R.W. Ievers thrice the Assistant Government Agent of the North Central Province (NCP) before becoming its Government Agent during the early 1890s has given a very authentic description of the status of Arippu in his book, Manuals of the North Central Province, published by the Government Printer in 1899 He has vividly described how the commissioned agents in South India brought the indentured South Indian Tamil labourers for disembarkation tr- the Arippu seaport and the trials and tribulations that they were subjected to in their long march from Arippu to the central highlands through Wilachchiya, Medawachchiya, Rambewa , Kekirawa, Dambulla, Naula and Matale.

Consequent to this long march, the British planters in the Hill Country got the windfall of having almost free labour to work their plantations following shipment after shipment of this human cargo while the poor Sinhalese living in the NCP villages en route of the South Indian Tamil labourers from Arippu to the Hill Country, were abundantly cursed with widespread bouts of cholera soon after the infected Indian labourers disembarked at Arippu. The menace was so frightful that some of those wayside villages in the Wilachchiya Korale in the NCP, abandoned their ancestral villages and moved far in to the jungles to escape the cholera epidemic and establish safe, new settlements.

Ievers has vividly described how he saw, during his field inspections at the times of cholera epidemic, that the fallen dead bodies blanketed with swamps of flies rotting on the way side, as there were no people to bury the dead. In one of his inspection visits to Puwarasankulama of Kende Korale (edging the northern rim of the Wilachchiya Korale) plagued with the cholera epidemic, Ievers has noted that there were only three surviving people in the whole village and that the marauding crocodiles surfaced from the village tank were ripping human carcasses to feast on. Such were the prices that the NCP villagers had to pay for the development of plantation agriculture in the Hill Country. Alas, the historians have totally failed even to make a passing reference to this sacrifice!

During the 20th century, the Survey Department established under the British administration conducted some of the finest topographical surveys and various maps of the island including the one-inch-to-one mile scaled topographical sheets which have been published. In many of then Arippu is located and named. .If not for this, by now, no body would know where the ancient seaport of Arippu was.

During the recent near 30 years of civil war agitated by the Tamil separatist movement, it is plainly clear that the Archaeological Department could not have been able to get anywhere near Arippu, let alone preservation of its remains... This desolation may have further accelerated the destruction and decay of the old buildings’ remains due to, the active natural events of expansion, contraction and rain and sea water erosion of the materials used in the construction of those building The Governor’s mansion referred to earlier has already partially destroyed and the remaining portion of it is being steadily eroded by the wave action of the sea its preservation efforts need to be pursued immediately because of its architectural and historical significance to us.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Well.I paused maybe you will too!..................... The amount of times we're late & to warm up use the microwave!!

Microwaved Water - See What It Does To Plants

Below is a science fair project. In it she took filtered water

and divided it into two parts. The first part she heated to
boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated
to boiling in a microwave. Then after cooling she used the
water to water two identical plants to see if there would be
any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water
and the water boiled in a microwave. She was thinking that
the structure or energy of the water may be compromised by
microwave. As it turned out, even she was amazed at the

I have known for years that the problem with microwaved
anything is not the radiation people used to worry about, It's
how it corrupts the DNA in the food so the body can not
recognize it. So the body wraps it in fat cells to protect itself
from the dead food or it eliminates it fast. Think of all the
Mothers heating up milk in these "Safe" appliances. What
about the nurse in Canada that warmed up blood for a
transfusion patient and accidentally killed them when the
blood went in dead. But the makers say it's safe. Never mind
then, keep using them. Ask your Doctor I am sure they will
say it's safe too.
What do the dying plants in the pictures say?.. continue microwaving your food?
Change our attitude?
Remember You are also Living. Take Care.


Prepared By: William P. Kopp
A. R. E. C.. Research Operations
TO61-7R10/10- 77F05
Ten Reasons to Throw out your Microwave Oven
From the conclusions of the Swiss, Russian and German scientific clinical studies, we can no longer ignore the microwave oven sitting in our kitchens. Based on this research, we will conclude this article with the following:

1). Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven
causes long term - permanent - brain damage by "shorting
out" electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or
de-magnetizing the brain tissue].

2). The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the
unknown by-products created in microwaved food..

3). Male and female hormone production is shut down
and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.

4). The effects of microwaved food by-products are residual
[long term, permanent] within the human body.

5). Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food
is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no
benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that
cannot be broken down.

6). The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free
radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.

7). Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous
growths [tumors]. This may explain the rapidly increased
rate of colon cancer in America ..

8). The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes
cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
9). Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune
system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum

10). Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory,
concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of

Have you tossed out your microwave oven yet?
After you throw out your microwave you can use a toaster oven as a replacement. It works well for most and is nearly as quick.

Friday, October 8, 2010

An increase in solar activity from the Sun actually cools the Earth...!!!

A stronger Sun actually cools the Earth
October 7, 2010, 8:36 pm

An increase in solar activity from the Sun actually cools the Earth, suggests new research that will renew the debate over the science behind climate change.

By Richard Alleyne,
Science Correspondent

The research overturns traditional assumptions about the relationship between the sun and global warming.

Focused on a three-year snapshot of time between 2004 and 2007, the findings will be seized upon by those who believe that man’s role in rises in the earth’s temperature has been overstated.

As solar activity waned at the end of one of the Sun’s 11-year cycles, the new data shows the amount of light and heat reaching the Earth rose rather than fell. Its impact on melting polar ice caps, and drying up rivers could therefore have been exaggerated by conventional climate models during the period.

Scientists also believe it may also be possible that during the next upturn of the cycle, when solar activity increases, there might be a cooling effect at the Earth’s surface.

However while this may support climate change sceptics’ arguments in the short term, long term analysis suggests it actually provides further evidence that the heating of the planet is more than a natural, cyclical phenomenon.

Over the past century, overall solar activity has been increasing and should therefore cool the Earth, yet global temperatures have increased.

Professor Joanna Haigh, from Imperial College London, who led the study, said: "These results are challenging what we thought we knew about the sun’s effect on our climate.

"However, they only show us a snapshot of the sun’s activity and its behaviour over the three years of our study could be an anomaly.

"We cannot jump to any conclusions based on what we have found during this comparatively short period and we need to carry out further studies to explore the sun’s activity and the patterns that we have uncovered on longer timescales.

"However, if further studies find the same pattern over a longer period of time, this could suggest that we may have overestimated the Sun’s role in warming the planet, rather than underestimating it."

She denied that it would fuel scepticism about climate change research.

"I think it doesn’t give comfort to the climate sceptics at all," she said. "It may suggest that we don’t know that much about the Sun. It casts no aspersions at all upon the climate models."

The research, published in the journal Nature, is based on data from a satellite called SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) that has been measuring the sun’s energy output at X-ray, ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, the Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, said: "We know that the Earth’s climate is affected both by human activity and by natural forces and today’s study improves our understanding of how the Sun influences our climate.

"Studies like this are vital for helping us to create a clear picture of how our climate is changing and through this, to work out how we can best protect our planet."

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Language matters.!!! We are formed by the language we speak. When we lose our language, we lose a part of ourselves.!!!

Language matters
August 19, 2010, 12:00 pm

Randy David

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

It is that time of the year when we are prompted to revisit language issues in our society. In what language should we educate our children? What language should the government use to communicate with our people? What language should the courts in our country use? Is the bilingual policy that makes Filipino and English the official media of communication and instruction serving the national purpose? Are we doing enough to develop and enrich Filipino as the national language, as mandated by the Constitution? These issues have remained contentious and unresolved:

Even as languages evolve on their own, nations find themselves having to choose which languages best work for them as they pursue specific goals and purposes. As with persons, language preference ultimately mirrors a nation’s hierarchy of values. In the post-colonial years, especially in those societies marked by cultural diversity, the designation of a national language was thought crucial to the task of nation-building and political integration. Today, nations that have premised their growth on being able to ride the tide of globalization find little need to develop their own languages. They not only turn to English as the language of modernity; they also want to make it the lingua franca of their people.

This brings instant rewards to individuals who seek careers in the modern sector of the economy or in the global labor market. But for the majority who remain in the country, the costs are immense. Education becomes an alienating experience for schoolchildren, who cannot use their own language to create and access knowledge. Social inequalities are exacerbated. As English becomes a marker of class, a mechanism of exclusion, local languages are relegated to the margins of public discourse. Perhaps, most important of all, as we lose the use of our languages, we also break with our own basic orientations as a people. This is especially a problem for the English-speaking Filipino intelligentsia who find that increasingly they can neither understand nor communicate with their own people.

Recent research on the connection between language and ways of seeing and thinking provides new evidence for the thesis that language is not just a carrier but a shaper of thought. These studies, echoing the "linguistic turn" in philosophy, shift the analysis from the nature of the mind to the uses of language.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal (07/23/10), Dr. Lera Boroditsky, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, discusses recent field experiments that show how language structures not just the way we see but the way we solve problems and accumulate knowledge about the world. This is not a new idea at all. But Boroditsky has come up with new material to prove the point.

Language, she argues, shapes our notions of space, time, and causality. Such notions are not the same in all languages. "About a third of the world’s languages (spoken in all kinds of physical environments) rely on absolute directions for space." Boroditsky and another colleague went to Australia to study the Pormpuraaw, an aboriginal group whose languages have no "terms like ‘left’ and ‘right.’ Instead, everything is talked about in terms of absolute cardinal directions (north, south, east, west), which means you say things like, ‘There’s an ant on your southwest leg." This astounding precision in the language for depicting space allows people like the Pormpuraaws to "build many other more complex or abstract representations including time, number, musical pitch, kinship relations, morality and emotions".

Does the way we talk about space have any bearing on the way we talk about time? To find out, the researchers showed the Pormpuraaws some pictures indicating a progression of events: photos of a person or crocodile at different ages, or a banana being consumed in stages. While seated, the subjects were repeatedly asked to arrange the photos in the correct temporal order, facing in a different direction each time. English speakers arrange time from left to right. Speakers of languages that are written from right to left, like Hebrew, Boroditsky says, arrange time from right to left.

But the Pormpuraaws depict time progression in an east-to-west direction. Facing south, the subjects arranged the time photos from left to right. Facing north, they arranged them right to left. Facing east, they arranged them toward the body. No one needed to tell them where east or west was. In other languages, Boroditsky adds, the past may be represented as above, while the future is below (as in Mandarin). "In Aymara, spoken in South America, the future is behind and the past in front."

What is true for time and space seems true as well for notions of causality. In some languages, accidents are attributed to no one, whereas in others, the doer who caused the accident is identified, what witnesses saw is important, and blame is assigned.

This reminds me of a story that Michel Foucault tells in an interview. A team of psychologists showed a short film about three characters to a village in Africa, and then asked the viewers to recount the film in their own words. They remembered nothing about the characters; only one thing engaged their attention: "the movement of the light and shadow through the trees."

Language matters. We are formed by the language we speak. When we lose our language, we lose a part of ourselves. Ludwig Wittgenstein captured it so well in a crisp aphorism: "The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for."

Friday, July 16, 2010

International Hydrology Prize 2010: Prof Murugesu SIVAPALAN - Great honour..!!!

FW: Prof Murugesu SIVAPALAN - Great honour‏
Fra: Lalitha Brodie (
Sendt: 16. juli 2010 16:09:27

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 08:45:59 +0000
Subject: Fw: Prof Murugesu SIVAPALAN - Great honour

International Hydrology Prize 2010
Prix International d'Hydrologie 2010



Presentation of the 2010 International Hydrology Prize. Paris (France), 7 July 2010
From left to right Gordon Young (IAHS President), Murugesu Sivapalan, Tommaso Abrate (WMO representative),
Alberto Tejada-Guibert (Director UNESCO division of water sciences)


Citation by Gordon Young, IAHS President

For outstanding contributions to watershed hydrology and global leadership in advancing predictions in ungauged basins
I have great pleasure in presenting Professor Murugesu Sivapalan of the University of Illinois as this year's recipient of the International Hydrology Prize. Professor Sivapalan is eminently worthy of this award for truly outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology, having shaped modern hydrology in a most distinct way. He has been a key player in formulating a new hydrological theory at the watershed scale and having contributed immensely to a wider inter-disciplinary view of hydrology as an Earth Science. His publication output is exceptional (135 articles in ISI with an H-index of 32), but it is not only this productivity that has elevated his profile. More important are the new concepts he has introduced. It is by these that he has imprinted his vision on the shape of modern scientific hydrology, making a permanent impact.
Murugesu Sivapalan was born in Sri Lanka in 1953 where he obtained his BSc degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1975. He completed his MEng degree at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok in 1977, and after working as a consultant for some years in Nigeria enrolled at Princeton University where he obtained MA and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering in 1983 and 1986, respectively. His subsequent academic career can be divided into three distinct periods. The first nine years (1987-1995) were devoted to fundamental research on scale problems in hydrologic modelling. His early contributions mark the introduction of similarity concepts in flood hydrology, a concept that had been well established in fluid dynamics but hardly known in hydrology. In a series of papers entitled "On hydrologic similarity" he brilliantly conceptualised the effects of hydrological heterogeneity and scale, and their effects on runoff response. This ultimately led to the notion of the Representative Elementary Area (REA) which was presented as a building block scale for the development of distributed watershed models. With these new ideas Dr Sivapalan was well ahead of the conceptual thinking of his peers. We all remember the excitement they transmitted at the time, a natural result of the originality of his ideas and reflecting a truly exceptional mind that always tries to explore new pathways to learning.
Continuing his thoughtful and groundbreaking work further Dr Sivapalan later introduced the meta-channel concept as a clever way of representing the hydraulics of flows in a complex river network by a one dimensional effective channel, called the meta-channel, thereby bridging the gap between conceptual hydrological models and physically based fluid dynamics models. His subsequent work on derived flood frequency was similarly groundbreaking as it introduced, for the first time, the concept of hydrologic regimes in a flood frequency context, which allowed him to demonstrate the connection between the spatial scaling behaviour of flood frequency and interactions between climatic and watershed time scales.
In the second period of his career (1995-2003), on the basis of deep insights gained from his previous theoretical studies, Dr. Sivapalan focused on novel approaches to the development of a new generation of models at the watershed scale. His contributions to watershed thermodynamics have been considered by many peers as a quantum leap in the area of watershed hydrologic modelling. First averaging the balance equations for mass, momentum, energy and entropy over a representative elementary watershed (REW) that was defined in a way that is consistent with watershed scale processes, he and his students and collaborators derived constitutive relations to go along with the balance equations at the REW scale, on the basis of the second law of thermodynamics. Based on the now determinate set of balance equations he proposed a new paradigm for the development of distributed watershed models (at the REW scale) that promise to be more versatile and less dependent on calibration than current models. He and his students and several colleagues together have now completed the development and implementation of a new and comprehensive watershed model known as CREW, which included the development of new closure relations to account for the effects of sub-REW-scale process heterogeneity. However, not satisfied with this upward approach to modelling, Dr Sivapalan also introduced a new and parallel data analysis framework that exploits simple signatures of watershed responses including event-scale, seasonal and annual characteristics to generate understanding of watershed functioning from observed rainfall-runoff data. In this way he advanced an alternative top-down or downward approach to the development of parsimonious and physically-based models of appropriate complexity and fidelity to counterbalance complex models based on fundamental process theories alone, as is the case with models based on the REW approach. The outputs of both of these two lines of research, in the form of over 20 journal articles, have had a significant influence on the watershed modelling community, and have been highly cited in the short time since they were published.
Around 1999, Dr Sivapalan turned his attention to an even more challenging topic, namely the problem of "predictions in ungauged basins" (PUB). Indeed, many of the thoughtful new concepts he had introduced or explored in his previous research provided him the perfect launch pad to attack this fundamental and as yet unsolved problem in hydrology. When in 2000-2001 IAHS decided to launch a new decadal initiative and was searching for new ideas it was Dr Sivapalan's suggestion of PUB that caught the attention of the IAHS and found favour amongst the global hydrologic community. When the IAHS Decade on PUB was eventually launched in 2002 as a global initiative, he was the most obvious choice for its leadership, given the strength of his ideas and prior contributions to the field. By taking up its leadership, Dr Sivapalan not only helped organize and energize the global hydrological community around PUB, but through writing the PUB science plan, helped develop a firm theoretical foundation for watershed hydrology. He almost single-handedly masterminded running the PUB initiative in its formative years and made it into one of the flagships of IAHS. The influence of PUB that he initiated and led has spread far and wide, with the PUB science and implementation plans impacting on many new community initiatives that have been started or are being planned in several countries. By the time he stepped down from his PUB leadership in 2005 Dr Sivapalan had become one of the giants in scientific hydrology, a name that immediately rings a bell in the hydrologic community anywhere in the world.
In the latest phase of his career (2004-2010), Dr Sivapalan's research has evolved further to address the general and even broader problem of "predictability", going beyond the narrow confines of hydrology and embracing geosciences at large. Realizing that improving predictability required a broadening of the foundations of hydrologic science to cope with the inability to observe and deal with subsurface heterogeneity, he has now embarked on a new thrust towards inter-disciplinary research. Drawing from a seemingly inexhaustible supply of new ideas, Dr Sivapalan has continued to carry out fundamental research, this time on the role of threshold nonlinearities in watershed systems and subsystems, and their impact on predictability. Not only did it allow him to represent transport problems of, say, pesticide in a more parsimonious way but it also provided a most natural way for expressing the limits of hydrological predictability in diverse hydrological contexts, including that of flood frequency. Recognizing the considerable uncertainty in hydrological predictions due to the inability to estimate transpiration by natural vegetation realistically, he successfully tested the principle of vegetation optimality, that of maximization of net carbon profit, an exciting new approach that holds enormous promise for improved predictive understanding of a variety of other hydrological processes at the watershed scale and, indeed, at the global scale. This work is currently ongoing in a new community project led by Dr Sivapalan, which is aimed at improving predictability of water cycle dynamics through inter-disciplinary synthesis. The threads of a coherent new research framework proposed by Dr Sivapalan based on inter-disciplinary synthesis are already clear and the products of this research are reflected in over 45 papers published in the past 5 years alone, influencing the community in a substantial manner.
Dr Sivapalan has been widely recognized for these contributions throughout his career. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2003 he won triple honours: Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the John Dalton Medal of the European Geophysical Society, and the Australian Government's Centenary Medal. In 2007 he was made the Borland Lecturer by AGU Hydrology Days at Colorado State University. He is an Editor, or Associate Editor, of eight of the most prestigious journals in the field. The esteem in which he is held by peers is reflected by his name having been turned into a brand identity - a name that stands for thoughtful new contributions that have distinctly helped shape the science of hydrology.
Professor Sivapalan is one of the greatest hydrologists of our time. Important in view of IAHS's global mandate, he is one of the top hydrologists in the world who was born and educated in a real developing country: Sri Lanka. He has played a key role in defining the research agenda of IAHS in the coming years through his formulation and implementation of the PUB Science Plan. He is one of the most innovative thinkers, always approachable for young scientists and is a role model for the new generation of hydrologists, world-wide. It is a great honour to present the International Hydrology Prize to Professor Sivapalan on the basis of these truly outstanding contributions to watershed hydrology and his global leadership in advancing the problem of predictions in ungauged basins. He adds distinction to a very distinguished award.


Response by Murugesu Sivapalan

Gordon, I am truly humbled by the honour and recognition that IAHS has bestowed on me through this prestigious award, and I am delighted to be receiving it in the presence of friends and family.

Your citation made a lot of flattering statements about my contributions to international hydrology. I am reminded that exaggerations are par for the course when it comes to award citations. Instead of making a vain attempt to refute them, I want to use this time to talk about IAHS, and especially about the IAHS Predictions in Ungauged Basins (or PUB) initiative. I have done a lot of different things in my career but the work that brought me into IAHS was really the PUB initiative. Through adopting my suggestion of PUB and handing me its early leadership, IAHS had offered me a platform to push forward with some of my ideas. There is self-interest in the common interest, after all. As much as PUB is the "jewel in the crown" of the IAHS, it has also been a great vehicle to advance my own scientific career, for which I am grateful.
Long before the IAHS PUB initiative was launched, PUB had played a major role in revitalizing my research career. Round about 1997 I was feeling disillusioned, in spite of the fact that my productivity was at its peak. I did not see the relevance of my work to societal problems that affected real people, and felt a growing emptiness. It was at this time Professor Vijay Gupta was visiting on sabbatical, and introduced to me the idea of PUB. For the first time I began to see how I could relate many of the things I was doing to the general problem of PUB, and this helped to re-energize my research. Thereafter I reoriented my research and channelled it towards developing a research vision centred on PUB. When I eventually became full professor and gave my inaugural lecture in July 2000, the subject matter was indeed PUB. The elephant logo, which was subsequently adopted by the IAHS for PUB, had already showed up in my inaugural lecture.
In December 2000 I started a 6-month sabbatical stay at Delft, and travelled to Europe via Chennai and Bangalore in India. Between December 2000 and June 2001, during my frequent travels across Australia, India and Europe (Perth, Chennai, Bangalore, Barcelona, Lancaster, Newcastle, Stuttgart, Delft IHE and Delft Hydraulics, Bristol, Bari, and Paris), I repeated my inaugural lecture a dozen times, almost unchanged, with what can only be described as a missionary zeal, picking up new ideas through my exchanges with leading scientists I met along the way. It was during the same period, during Kuni Takeuchi's first year of IAHS Presidency and while I was still in Europe, that the IAHS was going through considerable soul-searching about its role in international hydrology, through the medium of an e-mail discussion that Kuni had set up in preparation for the IAHS Congress in Maastricht. It is not surprising that my ideas on PUB were well honed by then, and I was able to argue cogently and passionately for PUB. What is surprising and gratifying, however, is that my ideas were received so enthusiastically and adopted so quickly, and in the end I was the one called upon to lead PUB. This went beyond my wildest expectations. Clearly PUB and the ideas behind it had struck a chord.
One has to acknowledge in passing that, understandably, there was some resistance to the idea of IAHS spearheading such a decadal scientific initiative. Even after PUB was adopted there were still differences of opinion about exactly what PUB should focus on. It is to the eternal credit of the officers of IAHS, and one man in particular, former President Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, that PUB took off, gathered steam and found acceptance along the way. Professor Takeuchi deserves as much credit as myself, if not more, for PUB being where it is, and in an indirect way, for me winning this prize. I am truly grateful to Kuni Takeuchi, Pierre Hubert and other officers of the IAHS for their support and understanding, and especially for giving me the autonomy I felt I needed to lead PUB as a global grassroots movement.
The success of PUB is an object lesson about the power of a simple idea, and how, when supported by clarity of vision and targeted action, it can unleash people's excitement and mobilize their self-interest towards a common interest, and how these can lead to great achievements. The universality of the PUB idea and the adoption of the grassroots emphasis were crucial to maintaining a level playing field and encouraging wider participation, which I attribute as the chief reasons for the success of PUB. They have helped PUB become a role model for how community initiatives should be organized, for which IAHS can be justifiably proud. I hope that IAHS will continue to play a leadership role in international hydrology, building on the example and successes of PUB.
I want to acknowledge a number of other individuals who have helped advance the interests of PUB over the past 10 years. I want to highlight the part played by Enda O'Connell, Stewart Franks, Daniel Schertzer and John Schaake who helped, at crucial times, to develop and perfect the PUB science and implementation plans. I want to thank my successors as PUB Chair, namely, Jeff McDonnell, Günter Blöschl and John Pomeroy, for keeping the spirit of PUB alive and moving it steadily forward from where I left off. I am convinced that the PUB Benchmark Report that Günter Blöschl is putting together will become a major milestone in global hydrology, and I am eagerly awaiting its publication in a year's time.
The five years working on PUB has connected me to an enormous number of people worldwide, and I have been enriched in ways academic, personal and cultural. The friendships made along the way are the greatest single legacy of PUB for me personally. I owe a special debt of gratitude to all members of the PUB family worldwide for their contributions to the adoption and growth of PUB.
I share this award with so many people - students, teachers, colleagues, friends and family, too numerous to mention by name. I now want to name and thank a few special people in my life. I want to thank Hubert Savenije and Günter Blöschl for being great friends, colleagues and critics. My friendship with them is forever. I also want to thank my wife Banumathy, sons Mayuran and Kavin, and daughter-in-law Lizanne, for being the bedrock of love and support over the past many years. The most useful thing they do for me is to, from time to time, bring me down to earth by demanding that I be a better husband and father, although I will readily admit that I have not yet been able to reach the high standards they have set for me. In spite of this, their love and support is unwavering.
My father, if he was here today, would bask in the glory of the great deeds he must have done in his lifetime to have a son so honoured by this august assembly of learned people. My mother, if she was here today, would beam with delight at the praises for my achievements even more so than when she first held me in her arms. For once she would forget the pain that she must have endured to bring me into this world and the enormous hardships I know she endured to raise me to the position I am in today. I feel sad that my parents are not physically here to witness the moment they richly deserved, and had waited for all their lives, but I am sure they are looking down from Heaven, and I can feel their eternal blessings.
Before I conclude, I want to pay a tribute to Vit Klemeš, former President of IAHS, and former winner of the International Hydrology Prize, who passed away last March. Vit was a hero to me, and I have been heavily influenced by his writings over the years. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit him at his home in Victoria, British Columbia, last summer, and to be at the receiving end of his generous hospitality.
In closing, Gordon, I want to thank you for your citation and thank IAHS, WMO and UNESCO for honouring me with this award. Thank you all for being here for me. This day will remain one of the happiest days of my life.

Kind regards


Monday, July 12, 2010

Dr.Kasipathy Kailasapathy has been awarded a very significantly prestigious intl award known as the "Danisco International Dairy Science Award-2010"

"Kasipathy Kailasapathy".....
Send Your Greetings to Dr.Kasipathy Kailasapathy..!!!

Dr.Kasipathy Kailasapathy have been awarded a very significantly prestigious international award known as the "Danisco International Dairy Science Award for 2010".

This is a world wide international award and is given to a top scientist in Dairy Science research field in the world. The company Danisco supports financial aspects of this award and the American Dairy Science Assciation conducts the selection of the candidate. The selection criteria is that the scientists must have demonstrated significant contribution to the research and development of dairy industry internationally. He has been awarded this year for his signficant work on gut bacteria known as probiotic bacteria ie how it contributes to human health (for exmaple the bacteria is in the helath drink called YAKULT) and for his developed technology of how to put these bacteria live into a capsule(ie microencapsulation)

We all are proud that he is the first Sri Lankan to receive this award, and he is a Peradeniya graduate.

There will be a celebration in SL & presentation where he would present a power point presentation of 'Health benefits of Probiotic Bacteria and how to keep your bowel functioning healthily" and then have a slide show on Probiotic bacteria.

This award is a good publicity for SL-University of Peradeniya and our Sri Lankan Tamil Community, espeially for our young graduates to get inspired by this and work harder to excel in anywhere else in this world.

He left for US (Denver, Colarado) from Australia to receive this award at a special ceremony at the American Dairy Science Assocition Conference.

He would be back on 20th July and would then celebrate with friends & relatives in AU.

With very best regards to him from WTRF,NORWAY to
DR.Kasipathy Kailasapathy(Agricola and Life member of Peradeniya Alumini)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Horse gram or widely known as kollu, a common bean, available in abundance in Sri Lanka and neighbouring countries is a remedy for many health issues!

Kollu,or horse gram local bean but healthy friend

Nutritious and balanced

[ Kollu facts]
* Remedy for weakness of the body
* Helps dissolve kidney stones
* Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
* Helps control obesity
* Cures menstrual problems
Horse gram or widely known as kollu, a common bean, available in abundance in Sri Lanka and neighbouring countries is a remedy for many health issues. This is often used as fodder for horses and cattle. But the little known fact is this dhal has amazing medicinal qualities.

It is recommended for general weakness, dissolving kidney stones and reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.Horse gram is extensively used by the people of Andhra Pradesh in their weight loss diet.

The consumption of the gram is also said to control obesity. Besides this, it is known to cure menstrual problems in women, as it purifies the blood. But despite its medicinal qualities, horse gram remains one of the most ignored beans, probably because of its moth-ball-like taste.

But even this can be disguised through proper preparation. It can be used in various recipes in place of other beans, or a sauce can be made out of this and used instead of soya sauce.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that that caffeine helped improve workers’ memory and concentration.!!!

How office coffee breaks make staff work harder
By John Bingham

Taking a coffee break in the office might not seem like hard work but, according to a new study, it could actively make workers more productive.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that that caffeine helped improve workers’ memory and concentration as well as reducing the number of mistakes they made.

For those on long overnight shifts, it has a similar effect to taking a "power nap", the findings, published in the Cochrane Library journal, suggest.

The researchers also suggested that drinking coffee could help reduce accidents at work, traffic crashes involving people at the end of long shifts and even medical errors by doctors on call for long periods of time.

The team reviewed the findings of 13 separate studies from around the world involving shift workers, mostly in their 20s, in simulated working conditions.

Volunteers had been asked to perform tasks to test their memory, concentration, use of words and reasoning while two of the trials measured how prone they were to making simple errors.

Some were given caffeine while others were given a placebo to compare the effects.

The tests were then repeated when the volunteers were exposed to other factors such as bright lights or allowed to take a nap.

In memory, reasoning and concentration tests, those who had been given caffeine all scored moderately better than those given a placebo.

The effect could be seen irrespective of whether they drank a cup of coffee, an energy drink, took a caffeine pill or ate food with a high caffeine content.

Although there was little difference between the results of those given a cup of coffee compared with those allowed to take a nap overall, one study showed that those given caffeine made fewer errors.

Katharine Ker of the London School of Tropical Medicine in London, the lead researcher, said: "The results of the trials suggest that compared to no intervention, caffeine can reduce the number of errors and improve cognitive performance in shift workers.

"It seems reasonable to assume that reduced errors are associated with fewer injuries, although we cannot quantify such a reduction."

The team called for more research to measure the effects of caffeine on older people.

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the first 6 months, babies learn things much quicker than we thought possible.! What they are born with and what they learn is difficult to divide!

Six-month-old babies 'can tell good from evil'
By Heidi Blake

Babies are able to tell good from evil from the age of six months, a study has suggested.

Researchers asked infants of various ages to choose between characters which they had seen behaving well or badly, and found they overwhelmingly favoured the "good" characters.

One-year-old babies who were asked to take treats away from a "naughty" puppet in some cases went so far as to lean over and smack it on the head.

The research, which is being pioneered by a team of psychologists from the Infant Cognition Centre at Yale University, Connecticut, contradicts the belief promoted by psychologists such as Sigmund Freud that babies are born "amoral animals" and acquire a sense of right and wrong through conditioning.

In another experiment, babies aged between six months and a year watched an animated film in which a red ball with eyes tries to climb a hill while a yellow square tries to help push it up from behind and a green triangle tries to force it back down.

At the end of the film, scientists tested which shape the babies favoured by measuring how long they spent looking at a picture of each one. In 80 per cent of cases, the babies chose the helpful character over the unhelpful one.

Paul Bloom, the professor of psychology who heads the study team, said: "A growing body of evidence ... suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone."

One-year-old babies who watched one rabbit puppet trying to snatch a ball from a toy cat while a second rabbit puppet tried to return it chose to punish the "naughty" puppet by confiscating some sweets it had been given earlier. Some also smacked the rabbit on the head without being prompted.

Peter Willatts, a senior lecturer in psychology at Dundee University, said: "You cannot get inside the mind of the baby. You cannot ask them. You have to go on what most attracts their attention.

"We now know that in the first six months babies learn things much quicker than we thought possible. What they are born with and what they learn is difficult to divide."

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Friday, May 7, 2010

The stress of modern living could be making us eat more sugary and fatty foods, scientists claim..!!!

Scientists find anxiety gene that also makes you comfort eat
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

The stress of modern living could be making us eat more sugary and fatty foods, scientists claim.

Researchers have found an "anxiety gene" which when switched on not only causes stress but increases our craving for sweets and comfort food.

They believe that the gene could be the reason why we are becoming an increasingly obese and stressful society. It could be the reason for the phenomenon "comfort eating".

Dr Alon Chen, a neuroendocrinologist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, said: "We showed that the actions of a single gene in just one part of the brain can have profound effects on the metabolism of the whole body.

"In essence, stress may be turning us fat."

Few people lead stress-free lives these days which may, say experts, account for the rise in obesity triggered by the stress gene.

"Stress is definitely influencing every system in the body," said Dr Chen "It’s not just causing anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder but is influencing metabolic syndromes such as obesity."

In the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers have discovered that there’s a "stress switch" that seems to lead to diabetes and obesity.

The Israeli researchers created their own method for changing the activity of the gene in the brain, causing it to release varied amounts of a protein called Ucn3.

They discovered that increased levels of Ucn3 caused anxiety and changes in metabolism.

With increased levels of Ucn3, the bodies of mice used more sugar and less fatty acids and metabolic rates increased, showing the first stages of type 2 diabetes.

Dr Chen added: "Until now the lines drawn between stress, appetite and anxiety were pointed out, but never fully explained.

"This new research may be the important missing link that can help drug developers create drugs targeting stress that could have multiple side-benefits, like preventing diabetes, promoting heart health and keeping our weight down.

"We showed that the actions of single gene in just one part of the brain can have profound effects on the metabolism of the whole body.

"This mechanism, which appears to be a "smoking gun" tying stress levels to metabolic disease, might, in the future, point the way toward the treatment or prevention of a number of stress-related diseases."

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Researchers found a link between using hormonal contraception and female sexual dysfunction, a condition most often caused by a lack of desire..!!!

The Pill linked to low desire for sex, claims study
Taking the pill could be putting women off sex, a new study has claimed

By Richard Alleyne,
Science Correspondent

Researchers found a link between using hormonal contraception and female sexual dysfunction, a condition most often caused by a lack of desire.

The findings back up previous anecdotal evidence that the pill reduces libido and also calls into question the long term use of the contraception especially in ever younger women.

"Sexual problems can have a negative impact on both quality of life and emotional wellbeing, regardless of age," said researcher Dr Lisa-Maria Wallwiener of the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

"Female Sexual Dysfunction is a very common disorder, with an estimated prevalence of about two in five women having at least one sexual dysfunction, and the most common complaint appearing to be low desire."

For the study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the researchers recruited 1,086 women most of whom had been sexually active in the last month.

They were asked to complete questionnaires designed to identify problems with sexual function and this was compared to the type of contraception if any they had used in the last six months.

The researchers found that the women who took hormonal contraception suffered the most sexual dysfunction especially compared with those who used other types such as condoms.

Dr Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, said this had huge implications for women at the beginning of their sexual lives.

"The irony is that these women are provided a medication that enables freedom from reproductive worries but these same women are not provided information that there are significant adverse sexual effects that may ensue," he said.

"Agents that interfere with the hormonal milieu of women may adversely affect their sexual lives."

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Asteroids brought both water and compounds to the early Earth - helping lay the foundation for life on the planet..!!!

Life began after asteroids slammed into earth, scientists say

Life on Earth began after asteroids crashed into the planet, scientists have claimed.

Astronomers have confirmed for the first time that a giant space rock contains frozen water on its surface.

Analysis of asteroid 24 Themis also shows evidence of widespread organic chemicals.

The scientists say this supports the theory that asteroids brought both water and compounds to the early Earth - helping lay the foundation for life on the planet.

Using an Hawaii based NASA telescope they studied infrared sunlight reflected by 200-kilometer wide 24 Themis that sits halfway between Mars and Jupiter in an area called the Main Belt.

They found the spectrum was consistent with frozen water and determined the object is coated with a thin film of ice. They also detected organic matter.

Asteroids were once believed to be dry and lifeless but it is now believed they played a vital role in the evolution of life.

Planetary scientist Dr Josh Emery, of the University of Tennessee, said: "The organics we detected appear to be complex, long-chained molecules.

"Raining down on a barren Earth in meteorites, these could have given a big kick-start to the development of life."

Dr Emery, whose findings are published in Nature, said discovering ice on 24 Themis was a surprise because the surface is too warm for it to stick around for a long time.

He said: "This implies ice is quite abundant in the interior of 24 Themis and perhaps many other asteroids. This ice on asteroids may be the answer to the puzzle of where Earth's water came from."

Still, how the water got there is unclear as the asteroid's proximity to the sun causes ice to vaporize. But the researchers' findings suggest its lifetime of ice ranges from thousands to millions of years depending on the latitude.

So the ice is regularly being replenished possibly by a process of "outgassing" in which ice buried within the asteroid escapes slowly as vapor migrates through cracks to the surface or as vapor escapes quickly and sporadically when 24 Themis is hit by space debris.

Since Themis is part of an asteroid "family" that was formed from a large impact and the subsequent fragmentation of a larger body long ago, this scenario means the parent body also had ice and has deep implications for how our solar system formed.

Dr Emery said: "Asteroids have generally been viewed as being very dry. It now appears when the asteroids and planets were first forming in the very early Solar System ice extended far into the Main Belt region.

"Extending this refined view to planetary systems around other stars, the building blocks of life - water and organics - may be more common near each star's habitable zone.

"The coming years will be truly exciting as astronomers search to discover whether these building blocks of life have worked their magic there as well."

The scientists' discovery also further blurs the line between comets and asteroids. Asteroids have long been considered to be rocky and comets icy.

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There is a natural body mechanism which conserves energy in response to a reduction in calories. Food is not always plentiful for humans & animals !!!

Dieting is ineffective without exercise, research suggests

Dieters won’t lose significant amounts of weight simply by regulating what they eat, research suggests

Reducing caloric intake is ineffective unless accompanied by an increase in exercise, according to researchers.

This appears to be due to a natural compensatory mechanism that prompts the body to cut back its physical activities in response to a reduction in calories.

"In the midst of America’s obesity epidemic, physicians frequently advise their patients to reduce the number of calories they are consuming on a daily basis. This research shows that simply dieting will not likely cause substantial weight loss. Instead, diet and exercise must be combined to achieve this goal," said Judy Cameron, a senior scientist at Oregon Health & Science University’s national primate research center, and a professor of behavioral neuroscience and obstetrics & gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

To conduct the research, Cameron studied 18 female rhesus macaque monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. The monkeys were placed on a high-fat diet for several years. They were then returned to a lower-fat diet (standard monkey food) with a 30 percent reduction in calories. For a one-month period, the monkeys’ weight and activity levels were closely tracked. Activity was tracked through the use of an activity monitor worn on a collar.

"Surprisingly, there was no significant weight loss at the end of the month," explained Sullivan.

"However, there was a significant change in the activity levels for these monkeys. Naturally occurring levels of physical activity for the animals began to diminish soon after the reduced-calorie diet began. When caloric intake was further reduced in a second month, physical activity in the monkeys diminished even further."

A comparison group of three monkeys was fed a normal monkey diet and was trained to exercise for one hour daily on a treadmill. This comparison group did lose weight.

"This study demonstrates that there is a natural body mechanism which conserves energy in response to a reduction in calories. Food is not always plentiful for humans and animals and the body seems to have developed a strategy for responding to these fluctuations," added Cameron. "These findings will assist medical professionals in advising their patients. It may also impact the development of
community interventions to battle the childhood obesity epidemic and lead to programs that emphasize both diet and exercise."

The research is published in the April edition of the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

© The Telegraph
Group London 2010


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ash spreads, travel chaos gets worse....!
Volcanic cloud expands across Europe,......
disrupting more flights on both sides of Atlantic:

An airline worker secures protective plastic wrap over an engine of a grounded plane at Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland Friday.

A common sight around all Europian airports.
Pic: Peter Muhly, Getty Images, Reuters

The huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano continued to spread out across Europe on Friday causing yet more air travel chaos and costing airlines hundreds of millions of dollars.

The plume floating through the upper atmosphere, where it could damage jet engines and airframes, threw travel plans into disarray on both sides of the Atlantic.

Severe disruption of European air traffic was expected to continue well into today, with aviation authorities in France and Britain moving their target for reopening airspace from this morning to this afternoon at the earliest. Meanwhile, the slowly drifting cloud pushed into other countries, with Switzerland, Hungary and Romania announcing closure or partial closure of their airspace overnight.

However, authorities expected some flights from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where the ash cloud was clearing, would begin operating this morning.

“The winds have become, at upper levels, more westerly and that is steering [the ash] more into Scandinavia, taking it away from Scotland and Northern Ireland,” said Mark Seltzer, a forecaster at Britain’s Met Office.

“I am furious and frustrated,” said Sara Bicoccih, stranded at Frankfurt airport on her way home to Italy from Miami.

“In terms of closure of airspace, this is worse than after 9/11. “a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, Britain’s aviation regulator, said. “The disruption is probably larger than anything we’ve probably seen.”

U.S. airspace was closed for three days after the terrorist attacks and airlines were forced to halt all transatlantic services.

Disruption from the volcanic ash eruption in Iceland is costing airlines more than $200 million a day, air industry group the International Air Transport Association said.

But unless the cloud disrupts flights for weeks, threatening factories’ supply chains, economists do not think it will significantly slow Europe’s shaky recovery from recession or affect second-quarter gross domestic product figures, said IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer said.

Volcanologists say the ash could cause problems to air traffic for up to six months if the eruption continues.David Castelveter, a spokesman with the Air Transport Association of America trade group, said U.S. airlines had cancelled at least 170 flights to and from Europe Friday. Delta alone has already cancelled 35 flights to Europe scheduled for today, spokesman Anthony Black said.

Joe Sultana, head of network operations at European air control agency Eurocontrol, said the situation was unprecedented.

Eurocontrol said it was up to each country when flights were resumed, based on whether there was clear air, which depended on wind direction.

The volcano began erupting on Wednesday, hurling a plume of ash six to 11 kilometres into the atmosphere.

Officials said it was still spewing magma and although the eruption could abate in the coming days, ash would continue drifting into the skies of Europe.

European aviation control officials said some 12,000 to 13,000 flights were likely to operate in European airspace on Friday — mostly in the south - compared with about 29,500 normally.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, returning from a trip to the United States, diverted to Portugal and was expected to spend the night in Lisbon.

The air problems have proved a boon for other transport firms. All 58 Eurostar trains between Britain and Europe were operating full, carrying some 46,500 passengers, and a spokeswoman said they would consider adding more services.

- Courtesy: The Vancouver Sun

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions dating back to 1st century BCE to third century CE offer the fundamental evidence that Tamil is a classical language..!!!

april 15, 2010
Deciphering the Indus script: challenges and some headway

The Hindu Tablets depicting Indus Valley scripts. File photo: M. Karunakaran Related

arts, culture and entertainment

cultural development

culture (general)


Dr. Asko Parpola, the Indologist from Finland, is Professor Emeritus of Indology, Institute of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, and one of the leading authorities on the Indus Civilisation and its script. On the basis of sustained work on the Indus script, he has concluded that the script — which is yet to be deciphered — encodes a Dravidian language. As a Sanskritist, his fields of specialisation include the Sama Veda and Vedic rituals. Excerpts from replies that Professor Parpola gave over e-mail to a set of questions sent to him by T.S. Subramanian in the context of his being chosen for the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award, 2009. The award, comprising Rs. 10 lakh and a citation, will be presented during the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore from June 23 to 27, 2010. The award announcement said Professor Parpola was chosen for his work on the Dravidian hypothesis in interpreting the Indus script because the Dravidian, as described by him, was close to old Tamil. The award, administered by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, Chennai, was instituted out of a donation of Rs. 1 crore made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi:

You are a Vedic scholar. What brought you to the field of the Indus script?

As a university student of Sanskrit and ancient Greek in the early 1960s, I read John Chadwick's fascinating book on how the Mycenaean ‘Linear B' script of Bronze Age Greece was deciphered [The Decipherment of Linear B, Cambridge University Press, 1958]. Michael Ventris succeeded in doing this without the aid of any bilingual texts, which in most cases have opened up forgotten scripts. Then my childhood friend Seppo Koskenniemi, who worked for IBM, offered his help if I wanted to use the computer for some task in my field. As statistics and various indexes have been important in successful decipherments, we took up this challenging problem of Indian antiquity.

There is some criticism that the Indus script is not a writing system.

I do not agree [with that]. All those features of the Indus script which have been mentioned as proof for its not being a writing system, characterise also the Egyptian hieroglyphic script during its first 600 years of existence. For detailed counterarguments, see my papers at the website

If it is a writing system, what reasons do you adduce for it?

The script is highly standardised; the signs are as a rule written in regular lines; there are hundreds of sign sequences which recur in the same order, often at many different sites; the preserved texts are mostly seal stones, and seals in other cultures usually have writing recording the name or title of the seal owner; and the Indus people were acquainted with cuneiform writing through their trade contacts with Mesopotamia.

Indus signs are generally available on seals and tablets. It was presumed that the seals and tablets had short Indus texts because they were meant for trade and commerce. However, a 3-metre long inscription on wood inlaid with stone crystals was found at Dholavira in Gujarat. It was also presumed that Indus inscriptions would not be available in stone. Again, in Dholavira, a large slab with three big Indus signs was found recently. The Archaeological Survey of India's website says the Dholavira site “enjoys the unique distinction of yielding an inscription made up of ten large-sized signs of the Indus script and, not less in importance, is the other find of a large slab engraved with three large signs.” What, in your assessment, is the significance of Indus signs engraved on a large stone slab?

These finds show that the Indus script was used in monumental inscriptions too. It is natural to expect writing to be used in such contexts as well.

What are the impediments to deciphering the Indus script? Is the short nature of the texts a big impediment? If we get a text with about 70 signs, will we able to decipher the script?

The main impediment is the absence of such a key as the Rosetta stone, which contained the same text in different scripts and languages. Nor is there any closely similar known script of the same origin which could give clues to the sound values of the Indus signs. And not only is the script unknown, there is much controversy also about its type (alphabetic, syllabic, logo-syllabic) and about the language underlying it. Apart from the likelihood that the Greater Indus Valley was probably called Meluhha in Sumerian, there is no historical information concerning the Indus Civilisation: it was the names and genealogies of the Persian kings (known from Greek historians and the Bible) which opened up the cuneiform script. The texts are so short that they hardly contain complete sentences, probably only noun phrases. But a text some 70 signs long would not lead to a dramatic decipherment of the script, although it can be expected to throw some new light on the structure of the underlying language.

Can you explain what you mean by the “Dravidian solution of the Indus enigma?”

I mean by it obtaining certainty that the language underlying the Indus script in South Asia belongs to the Dravidian language family. For this, it is not necessary to decipher the entire script (which in any case is impossible with the present materials) but we need a sufficient number of tightly cross-checked sign interpretations.

It is 16 years since you published Deciphering the Indus Script. What is the progress you have made since then in deciphering it?

Some progress has been made, and I shall talk about it at the Classical Tamil Conference in June. Progress is very difficult, however, also because our knowledge of Proto-Dravidian vocabulary and especially phraseology is so incomplete. This knowledge is critical for reliable readings, and here Old Tamil offers precious but unfortunately limited material.

Some Indian scholars feel that the Indus Civilisation is Aryan and connected with the Rig Veda. You are a Vedic scholar and you specialise in the Indus script too. So what is your reaction to this standpoint?

Rigvedic hymns often speak of horses and horse-drawn chariots, and the horse sacrifice, ashvamedha, is among the most prestigious Vedic rites. The only wild equid native to the Indian subcontinent is the wild ass, which is known from the bone finds of the Indus Civilisation and depicted (though rarely) in its art and script. The domesticated horse is absent from South Asia until the second millennium BCE. Finds from Pirak and Swat from 1600 BCE show it was introduced from Central Asia after the Indus Civilisation. The earliest archaeological finds of horse-drawn chariot come from graves dated to around 2000 BCE in the Eurasian steppes, the natural habitat of the horse. There are also ancient Aryan loanwords in Finno-Ugric languages spoken in northeastern Europe (for example, the word for ‘hundred' in my own language Finnish is sata). Some of these Aryan loanwords represent a more archaic stage of development (that is, are phonetically closer to the older Proto-Indo-European language) than Rigvedic Sanskrit. It is very likely that these words came to Finno-Ugric languages from Proto-Aryan spoken in the Volga steppes.

You have published two volumes of Indus Seals and Inscriptions along with J.P. Joshi. Will there be a third volume?

Shri J. P. Joshi was the co-editor of the first volume of the Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions, S. G. M. Shah of the second. Volume 3, Part 1 is in the press and will come out by June 2010.

Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions dating back to 1st century BCE to third century CE offer the fundamental evidence that Tamil is a classical language. Would you like to comment on the threat posed to these Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions in the hills in and around Madurai by the granite-quarrying lobby?

The Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions are important monuments, which should be adequately protected. The possibility of new finds must also not be forgotten. In my own country, Finland, the government has been much concerned about the damage caused to scenery by sand-quarrying and has passed restrictive laws.

Keywords: Indus script, Dravidian language, Classical Tamil Award, 2009, Indus Valley Civilization, Aryans

Comments to : Copyright © 2009, The Hindu

Monday, April 5, 2010

Smokers have lower IQs....!!!

Smokers have lower IQs than those who abstain, with intelligence decreasing the more one smokes, researchers have found.

A study of 18 to 21-year-old men revealed that the IQs of smokers averaged 94 – seven points lower than non-smokers on 101.

IQ scores in a healthy population of young men fall between 84 and 116, but those who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day averaged just 90 between them.

Researchers in Israel took data from more than 20,000 healthy men before, during and after they spent time in the Israeli military.

About 28 per cent of their sample smoked one or more cigarettes a day, three per cent considered themselves ex-smokers, and 68 per cent said they never smoked.

Professor Mark Weiser, of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychiatry, said: "In the health profession, we’ve generally thought that smokers are most likely the kind of people to have grown up in difficult neighbourhoods, or who’ve been given less education at good schools.

"But because our study included subjects with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, we’ve been able to rule out socio-economics as a major factor."

The study also measured effects in twin brothers – and in the case where one twin smoked, the non-smoking twin registered a higher IQ on average.

Prof Weiser said: "People on the lower end of the average IQ tend to display poorer overall decision-making skills when it comes to their health.

"People with lower IQs are not only prone to addictions such as smoking. These same people are more likely to have obesity, nutrition and narcotics issues.

"Our study may help parents and health professionals help at-risk young people make better choices."


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Women who eat a diet high in biscuits,cakes & pies that contain trans fats are more likely to develop a womb condition that can cause infertility.!!!

Bad fat linked to infertility condition: research

Women who eat a diet high in biscuits, cakes and pies that contain trans fats are more likely to develop a common womb condition that can cause infertility, researchers have said.

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

A study found that women with the highest consumption of trans fats were 48 per cent more likely to develop endometriosis than those with the lowest consumption.

However eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, seemed to protect against the disease as these women had a 22 per cent reduced risk of the condition.

Endometriosis affects around one in ten women and is when the lining of the womb grows in the wrong places. It can cause no symptoms at all or severe pain and in some cases infertility.

The study involving over 70,000 women in America, is the largest to look at the link between diet and endometriosis.

Previous research found that eating four grams of trans fat a day can lead to infertility in women.

In the most recent study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, it was thought that trans fat increase inflammation in the body encouraging rogue cells from the womb lining to grow while omega-3 fatty acids constricted their growth.

Lead author Dr. Stacey Missmer, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, America, said: "This study gives us a strong indication that we’re on the right track in identifying food rich in Omega-3 oils as protective for endometriosis and trans fats as detrimental."

Women in the study filled out food questionnaires every four years between 1989 and 2001 and traced the numbers who went on to develop endometriosis.

The results showed that while total fat in the diet was not important, the kind of fat women were consuming was linked to the risk of endometriosis.

Trans fats are liquid oils that have been turned into solids by a process called hydrogenation and are in thousands of pre-prepared foods to give texture and a long shelf life.

The fat has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Sri Lankan students can now get a university degree through online education...!!! NODES.LK...!!!

Online degree chance for Dasun Edirisinghe

Sri Lankan students can now get a university degree through online education, Higher Education Minister Prof Wiswa Warnapala announced yesterday.

The Minister said that he was delighted at the revolutionary introduction which is also a realisation of one of the promises pledged under the ‘Semata Sarasavi’ (University Education for All) theme of the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto.

The innovative scheme is offered by NODES, the National Online Distance Education Service, commenced under the Distance Education Modernisation Project (DEMP) of the Higher Education Ministry.

He said the NODES programme was declared open for students on March 1.

NODES, introduced under the DEMP, started in 2004 and 26 centres had been set up islandwide, he said.

This innovation would create greater opportunities for tertiary education through Online Distance Learning (ODL).

Universities, professional associations, private and public sector education institutions are instructed to adopt this mode of learning to cater to a larger student population.

The Minister said the NODES had introduced 46 courses of studies and these courses allowed the students to choose a course of study leading to a degree, diploma or certificate, depending on their qualifications.

A loan agreement signed between the Asian Development Bank and the Sri Lankan government on August 18, 2003 launched the DEMP.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rain Water Harvesting Policy in Sri Lanka.....!!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Rain Water Harvesting Policy in Sri Lanka

Dr Tanuja Ariyananda - Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum

[ Harvesting rainwater]
* First National policy on Rain Water Harvesting
* Gazette to amend Urban Development Authority drainage laws passed on August 25, 2007
* Rain Water Harvesting International Workshop - Kandy in 2006

Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans are world famous for its water resource management. The first ever dam built in the world Tissa Wawe (3rd Century BC) is recorded from this island (History of Dams, 1994) and also the famous proclamation by King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD), “.....let not even a small quantity of water obtained by rain, go to the sea without benefiting man” (Arumugam, 1969, quoted from Mahawansa), shows the wisdom and commitment of ancient kings and people to conserve and efficiently manage water resources.

In more recent times, Sri Lanka has another first in water management, that is we have the first National Policy on Rain Water Harvesting.

Urban Development and Water Supply Minister Dinesh Gunawardena initiated the formulation of a National Policy and Strategy for Rain Water Harvesting in 2005 and was approved by the government. The policy objective is aimed at encouraging communities to control water near its source by harvesting rainwater.

This results in, minimizing the use of treated water for secondary purposes, reduction of flooding, improving soil conservation and groundwater recharge, providing water for domestic use with adequate treatment, agricultural benefits and reduce energy consumption.

A gazette to amend the Urban Development Authority (UDA) drainage laws was also presented by Minister Gunawardena and was passed in Parliament on August 25, 2007. In addition the regulation has been gazetted on April 17, 2009, which makes rainwater harvesting mandatory in certain categories of new buildings in areas under Municipal and Urban Council jurisdiction.

Minister has also initiated promotion of rainwater harvesting in the South Asian region by hosting an International Workshop on Rain Water Harvesting in Kandy in 2006.

The workshop was attended by five Ministers from SAARC countries, where they signed a declaration to exchange experience and know-how, and use different methods of rain water harvesting to contribute to solving poverty and water needs of human kind, other living being and the environment.

Parakrama Samudraya - the vast water reservoir built by
King Parakramabahu (1153-1186) Pic. courtesy: Google

Water is not only one of the most essential daily needs for the humans and other living beings, but is also important for the sustenance of biodiversity, ecology and overall health of the planet Earth. Because of the continuing increase in population, human consumption is causing a severe decline in the amount of available water resources.

Additionally, it is been predicted that there is strong impact of Global Climate Change on the availability and variability of water resources.

Rain water harvesting will reduce the pressure on present water source caused due to increase in demand, minimize the Government expenditure on subsidy, reduce water bills, minimize the use of treated water allowing more people to be served, save on energy needed to transport and treat water and will also reduce flooding in some cities.

Rainwater harvesting will also mitigate the effects of climate change on water resources during times of floods and drought.

If this timely action and direction by the Minister, is successfully implemented it will ensure that Sri Lankans will be self-sufficient in water, once enjoyed by our ancestors and are prepared for the impending water crises in the future due to the effect of climate change.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A year after kicking the smoking habit, smokers’ arteries showed signs of reversing a problem that can set the stage for heart disease...!!!

Arteries improve after smokers quit, study finds

ATLANTA (AP) - Quitting smoking can turn back time.

A year after kicking the habit, smokers’ arteries showed signs of reversing a problem that can set the stage for heart disease, according to the first big study to test this.

The improvement came even though smokers gained an average of 9 pounds (4 kilograms) after they quit, researchers found. Their levels of so-called good cholesterol improved, too.

"A lot of people are afraid to quit smoking because they’re afraid to gain weight," said the study’s leader, Dr. James Stein, a University of Wisconsin-Madison cardiologist.

The new research shows these people gain a health benefit even though they pick up pounds that hopefully can be shed once they’ve gotten used to not smoking, he said.

Smoking is one of the top causes of heart disease, and about one third of smoking-related deaths in the U.S. are due to heart disease. A heart attack often motivates longtime smokers to give it up.

Quitting is known to lower the risk of developing or dying of lung cancer. This is the first major clinical trial to show it quickly improves artery health. Results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and presented at the group’s annual conference on Monday.

In the study, 1,500 smokers were given one of five methods to help them quit - nicotine patches; nicotine lozenges; the drug bupropion, sold as Wellbutrin and Zyban; or a combination of patches and lozenges or the drug and lozenges. A sixth group received a dummy treatment.

After one year, 36 percent had quit, and it made no difference which method they used, Stein said.

Before the study started and one year after smokers quit, doctors did ultrasound tests to see how well blood vessel linings relaxed and handled blood flow. Hardening of the arteries is an early step to heart disease. Using a tourniquet, they stopped blood flow in the forearm for a few minutes, then measured how a major artery responded when the flow was restored.

"It’s a valid test" and is considered a good sign of how healthy the heart arteries are, said Dr. Alfred Bove, a Temple University heart specialist and president of the cardiology group.

Doctors found that artery function improved 1 percent in the quitters.

"That may not sound like much," but research shows that translates to a 14 percent lower risk of developing heart disease, Stein said.

"It’s a small improvement at one year. The question is, do these folks keep getting better?" Bove said.

The study is continuing another two years to give an answer, Stein said.

London-based GlaxoSmithKline PLC provided smoking cessation medicines for that part of the study, and several authors have research funding from the company. Federal government grants paid for the artery study.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Females that have multiple mates reduce the risk of producing a brood of offspring without males..!!!

Promiscuous females
‘could prevent species becoming extinct’

Promiscuous females could prevent their species becoming extinct, scientists have found.

According to research by the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool, females that have multiple mates reduce the risk of producing a brood of offspring without males.

The study, published today in Current Biology, says an all-female brood could occur when all the ‘male’ Y chromosome sperm are killed before fertilisation, because of a sex-ratio distortion (SR) chromosome.

Scientists believe all-female broods will pass the chromosome on to their sons, which will in turn produce more female-only broods and eventually there will be no males and the population will die out.

Known as ‘polyandry’ among scientists, the phenomenon of females having multiple mates is shared across most animal species, from insects to mammals.

For this study, the scientists worked with the fruitfly Drosophila pseudoobscura.

They gave some populations the opportunity to mate naturally, meaning that the females had multiple partners. The others were restricted to having one mate each.

Several generations of these populations were bred so researchers could see how each fared over time.

Over 15 generations, five of the 12 populations that had been monogamous became extinct as a result of males dying out.

The SR chromosome was far less prevalent in the populations in which females had the opportunity to have multiple mates and none of these populations became extinct.

Having multiple mates can suppress the spread of the SR chromosome, making all-female broods a rarity, the researchers suggest.

This is because males that carry the SR chromosome produce only half as many sperm as normal males. When a female mates with multiple males, their sperm will compete to fertilise her eggs.

The few sperm produced by males carrying the SR chromosome are out-competed by the sperm from normal males, and the SR chromosome cannot spread.

Lead author Professor Nina Wedell, of the University of Exeter, said: ‘’We were surprised by how quickly - within nine generations - a population could die out as a result of females only mating with one partner.

‘’Polyandry is such a widespread phenomenon in nature but it remains something of an enigma for scientists. This study is the first to suggest that it could actually save a population from extinction.’’

(C) The Telegraph Group London 2010


Friday, February 26, 2010

Asia swelters in El Nino heatwave....!!!

Asia swelters in El Nino heatwave
Grace Chua and Alastair McIndoe
The Straits Times/ANN

February is on track to become Singapore's driest month, as well as one of the hottest on record.

Peninsular Malaysia is experiencing water shortages, from the Kedah rice fields in the north to parts of Johor in the south, where taps ran dry over the Chinese New Year.

China is reporting severe drought and a shortage of drinking water, affecting millions in the south-western part of the country.

And in the Philippines, the largest corn-producing region, is withering under a blazing sun.

Weather experts say the region is once again grappling with the severe effects of the El Nino phenomenon, which sparked forest fires and the haze more than 10 years ago.

This time, the parched conditions are causing grief to farmers and raising concerns about water shortages.

The National Environment Agency's Meteorological Services Division said Singapore received 5.3mm of rainfall from February 1 to February 23. The lowest rainfall for any month was 8.4mm, recorded in February 1968 and February 2005.

The highest maximum temperature this month - 35 deg C - equalled last year's record high for the same month.

The hottest day in Singapore was on March 26, 1998, when the mercury hit 36 deg C.

Dr Matthias Roth, a climate researcher at the National University of Singapore, noted that temperatures in Singapore have been rising since the 1960s because of global warming and increasing urbanisation, as buildings tend to trap heat.

In south-western China, more than seven million people lack adequate drinking water and millions of hectares of crops have been affected.

Yunnan province, a top producer of sugar cane and rubber, is experiencing its worst drought in six decades.

On Sunday, angry and desperate corn farmers in the Philippines' Isabela province, which has not had rain in three months, threw ruined crops at the provincial government headquarters in Iligan City.

They have yet to recover from the enormous losses they suffered because of the typhoons late last year, according to congressman Rafael Mariano.

Pagasa, the national weather bureau, expects El Nino to last until June, with temperatures set to hit 40 deg C soon in some parts of the country.

But its impact on the farm economy and dam levels will probably be felt well beyond mid-year, said Pagasa climatologist Edna Juanillo.

The agriculture department estimates that the damage to crops from El Nino could total 10 billion pesos (US$216 million).

In Manila, the authorities are already urging the city's 12 million residents to conserve water, as water companies scramble to repair leaking pipes.

"It may well come to rationing because people don't recognise the need to conserve until it is too late," said Juanillo.

The El Nino phenomenon, which occurs every two to seven years, is caused by the abnormal warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean.

In South-east Asia, the weather becomes hotter and drier than usual. Bush and forest fires are common.

What's El Nino?

The El Nino weather phenomenon occurs every two to seven years and is caused by the abnormal warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean.

A strong El Nino is associated with drought and floods in different parts of the world. In South-east Asia, it brings hotter weather than usual during the dry season.

The last major El Nino took place in 1998, causing forest fires in Indonesia and Malaysia, blanketing the region in haze.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

In a breakthrough, an Indian-American rocket scientist has invented a mini electricity device,which could replace expensive powerhouses/ transm.lines!

AP BREAKTHROUGH: K.R. Sridhar, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Valley startup Bloom

Energy, holds up a stack of fuel cells. Photo: AP

In a breakthrough, an Indian-American rocket scientist has invented a mini electricity device, which could replace expensive power houses and transmission lines.

Christened the ‘Bloom Box,’ it would be unveiled by K.R. Sridhar in the Silicon Valley, a preview of which was given at the CBS’s popular show ‘60 Minutes’ last weekend.

“It is just like a laptop of the power sector,” the CBS reported.

Mr. Sridhar formed a company, Bloom Energy, which raised some $400 million from venture capitalists of the Silicon Valley at a time when it is tough to get money due to economic recession.

Among its board of directors is the former U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell, who joined it last year.

Mr. Sridhar, who was a rocket scientist and served as adviser to NASA, says that in 10 years or so the ‘Bloom Box’ for residential areas would be available at $3,000 (less than Rs.1.5 lakh) to produce electricity in a small home round the clock.

Having earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, earlier he was a Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona.

Comments to : Copyright © 2009, The Hindu

Friday, February 19, 2010

AT park has been established mainly to transfer technology to the farmer through live specimens,demonstration of new & old agricultural technologies!!

Bata Atha Agricultural Technology Park:

Haven for agriculturalists


The Bata Atha Agricultural Technology Park was established in 2007 under the patronage of the Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa to assist farmers to

Entrance to the park

Agri museum

Paddy field

gain knowledge of small scale cultivation including home gardens.

This park has been established mainly to transfer technology to the farmer through live specimens, demonstration of new and old agricultural technologies, promotion of agro tourism for local and foreign tourists, distribution of seed varieties, plants, leaflets and other technology transfer materials, as a centre to distribute agriculture technology information and instruction of direct and indirect employment opportunities.

This park is an ideal place to see the practical examples of how crops would be grown successfully.

Food production drive
Through the President’s Api Wawamu - Rata Nagamu countrywide food production drive most of the people try to get maximum use of their home gardens. As most of them haven’t even a basic knowledge about agriculture they are very keen to learn agriculture technologies.

There are two agricultural technological parks which are maintained by the Agriculture Department. One is situated in up-country at Gannoruwa, Kandy and the other down South in Bata Atha, Hambantota District. It is open for those who are willing to improve their knowledge about agricultural technologies.

Entrance to the park
The entrance to the park is from under an archway formed by two clasped hands. This symbolizes the bond among traditional farmers who had the concept share the farming system known as ‘Aththam’, said the Assistant Director of Agriculture Rohan Wijekoon.

This technology park is enriched with planting materials and a publications sales centre and information centre, demonstration plots of paddy cultivation, open air theatre, rain water harvesting farm, collection of citrus family crops cultivation, fruit garden, underutilized fruits crops, floriculture unit, granedilla cultivation, passion fruit cultivation, guava cultivation, pomogranate cultivation, a resting area, genetic landscaping of paddy, jak cultivation, herbal garden, improved chena, live crop museum, mango cultivation, home garden, Thumba cultivation, collection of grapes cultivation, nursery management unit, banana cultivation, seed laboratory and seed exhibition, bee keeping unit and bathing area also.

Variety of crops
The sheer variety of crops in the park is awe-inspiring. The park is very useful for agriculturists as well as for those who are interested in learning about crops. With the dawn of peace when tourists visited the South the Bata Atha Park could be a major attraction.

Dr Wijekoon also said “This park will be renamed as Chamal Rajapaksa Agriculture Technology Park in future and the President’s Secretariat will provide funds for the park. A National Agricultural museum, agro tourism cabanas will be established in this place in the near future.”