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Sinharaja Forest In Sinhala
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Name Main article Names of Sri Lanka See also List of country name etymologies In ancient times Sri Lanka was known by a variety of names ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane tprbni and Arabs referred to it as Serendib the origin of the word serendipity Ceilo was the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese when they arrived in 1505 which was transliterated into English as Ceylon As a British colony the island was known as Ceylon and achieved independence under the name Dominion of Ceylon in 1948 In 1972 the official name of the country was changed to Free Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka in Sinhala r la IPA ilaka whereas the island itself is referred to as lava IPA laka in Tamil ilaai ilaai In 1978 it was changed to Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka The current name is derived from the Sanskrit r lank with the word lank meaning island also being the name of the island as described in the ancient Indian epics Mahabharata and the Ramayana The word r is a Sanskrit title meaning venerable Geography and climate Main article Geography of Sri Lanka Topographical map of Sri Lanka The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait According to Hindu mythology a land bridge to the Indian mainland known as Rama s Bridge was constructed during the time of Rama by the vanara architect Nala Often referred to as Adam s Bridge it now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level According to colonial British reports this is a natural causeway which was formerly complete but was breached by a violent storm in 1480 The island consists mostly of flat to rolling coastal plains with mountains rising only in the south central part Amongst these is the highest point Pidurutalagala reaching 2 524 metres 8 280 ft above sea level The climate of Sri Lanka can be described as tropical and warm Its position between 5 and 10 north latitude endows the country with a warm climate moderated by ocean winds and considerable moisture The mean temperature ranges from about 16 C 61 F in the Central Highlands where frost may occur for several days in the winter to a maximum of approximately 33 C 91 F in other low altitude areas The average yearly temperature ranges from 28 C 82 F to nearly 31 C 88 F Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 C 7 F to 7 C 13 F During the coldest days of January many people wear coats and sweaters in the highlands and elsewhere May the hottest period precedes the summer monsoon rains The rainfall pattern is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal as the winds encounter the mountain slopes of the Central Highlands they unload heavy rains on the slopes and the southwestern areas of the island Some of the windward slopes receive up to 2 500 millimetres 98 in of rain each month but the leeward slopes in the east and northeast receive little rain Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the southwest northeast and eastern parts of the island Between December to March monsoon winds come from the northeast bringing moisture from the Bay of Bengal Humidity is typically higher in the southwest and mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal patterns of rainfall and places like Colombo experience daytime humidity above 70 all year round rising to almost 90 during the monsoon season in June Anuradhapura experiences a daytime low of 60 during the monsoon month of March but a high of 79 during the November and December rains In the highlands Kandy s daytime humidity usually ranges between 70 and 79 Flora and fauna Main articles Environment of Sri Lanka and Wildlife of Sri Lanka Horton Plains National Park represents Sri Lanka montane rain forests The mountains and the southwestern part of the country known as the wet zone receive ample rainfall at an average of 2 500 mm 98 in Most of the east southeast and northern parts of the country comprise the dry zone which receives between 1 200 mm 47 in and 1 900 mm 75 in of rain annually Much of the rain in these areas falls from October to January during the rest of the year there is very little precipitation The arid northwest and southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain at 600 mm 24 in to 1 200 mm 47 in per year Varieties of flowering acacias are well adapted to the arid conditions and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula Among the trees of the dry land forests are some valuable species such as satinwood ebony ironwood mahogany and teak In the wet zone the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest with tall trees broad foliage and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes Forests at one time covered nearly the entire island but by the late 20th century lands classified as forests and forest reserves covered around of the land The Yala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant deer and peacocks and the Wilpattu National Park in the northwest preserves the habitats of many water birds such as storks pelicans ibis and spoonbills During the Mahaweli Ganga Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka the government set aside four areas of land totaling 1 900 km2 730 sq mi as national parks The island has four biosphere reserves Bundala Hurulu Forest Reserve the Kanneliya Dediyagala Nakiyadeniya and Sinharaja The national flower of Sri Lanka is the Nymphaea stellata Sinhalese Nil Mahanel the national tree is the Ironwood Sinhalese Na and the national bird is the Sri Lanka Junglefowl which is endemic to the country History Main article History of Sri Lanka Early periods Sigiriya Rock Fortress Paleolithic human settlements have been discovered at excavations in several cave sites in the Western Plains region and the South western face of the Central Hills region Anthropologists believe that some discovered burial rites and certain decorative artifacts exhibit similarities between the first inhabitants of the island and the early inhabitants of Southern India Recent bioanthropological studies have however dismissed these links and have placed the origin of the people to the northern parts of India citation needed One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana which described the emperor Ravana as monarch of the powerful kingdom of Lanka which was created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera the treasurer of the Gods English historian James Emerson Tennent also theorized Galle a southern city in Sri Lanka was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory peacocks and other valuables The main written accounts of the country s history are the Buddhist chronicles of Mahavansa and Dipavamsa Sri Lankan coin 1st century CE The earliest known inhabitants of the island now known as Sri Lanka were probably the ancestors of the Wanniyala Aetto people also known as Veddahs and numbering roughly 3 000 Linguistic analysis has found a correlation of the Sinhalese language with the languages of the Sindh and Gujarat although most historians believe that the Sinhala community emerged well after the assimilation of various ethnic groups From the ancient period date some remarkable archaeological sites including the ruins of Sigiriya the so called Fortress in the Sky and huge public works Among the latter are large tanks or reservoirs important for conserving water in a climate that alternates rainy seasons with dry times and elaborate aqueducts some with a slope as finely calibrated as one inch to the mile Ancient Sri Lanka was also the first in the world to have established a dedicated hospital in Mihintale in the 4th century BCE Ancient Sri Lanka was also the world s leading exporter of cinnamon which was exported to Egypt as early as 1400 BCE Sri Lanka was also the first Asian nation to have a female ruler in Queen Anula 4742 BC Ancient Sri Lanka Sanghamitta arriving in Sri Lanka with the Holy Bodhi Tree Since ancient times Sri Lanka was ruled by monarchs most notably of the Sinha royal dynasty that lasted over 2000 years The island was also infrequently invaded by South Indian kingdoms and parts of the island were ruled intermittently by the Chola dynasty the Pandya dynasty the Chera dynasty and the Pallava dynasty The island was also invaded by the kingdoms of Kalinga modern Orissa and those from the Malay Peninsula Buddhism arrived from India in the 3rd century BCE brought by Bhikkhu Mahinda who is believed to have been the son of Mauryan emperor Ashoka Mahinda s mission won over the Sinhalese monarch Devanampiyatissa of Mihintale who embraced the faith and propagated it throughout the Sinhalese population The Buddhist kingdoms of Sri Lanka would maintain a large number of Buddhist schools and monasteries and support the propagation of Buddhism into Southeast Asia Colonial era British colonial Coat of arms of Ceylon Sri Lanka had always been an important port and trading post in the ancient world and was increasingly frequented by merchant ships from the Middle East Persia Burma Thailand Malaysia Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia The islands were known to the first European explorers of South Asia and settled by many groups of Arab and Malay merchants A Portuguese colonial mission arrived on the island in 1505 headed by Loureno de Almeida the son of Francisco de Almeida At that point the island consisted of three kingdoms namely Kandy in the central hills Kotte at the Western coast and Yarlpanam Anglicised Jaffna in the north The Dutch arrived in the 17th century Although much of the island came under the domain of European powers the interior hilly region of the island remained independent with its capital in Kandy The British East India Company established control of the island in 1796 declaring it a crown colony in 1802 although the island would not be officially connected with British India The fall of the kingdom of Kandy in 1815 unified the island under British rule 20th Century and the World Wars European colonists established a series of tea cinnamon rubber sugar coffee and indigo plantations The British also brought a large number of indentured workers from Tamil Nadu to work in the plantation economy The city of Colombo was established as the administrative centre and the British established modern schools colleges roads and churches that brought Western style education and culture to the native people Increasing grievances over the denial of civil rights mistreatment and abuse of natives by colonial authorities gave rise to a struggle for independence in the 1930s when the Youth Leagues opposed the Ministers Memorandum which asked the colonial authority to increase the powers of the board of ministers without granting popular representation or civil freedoms Buddhist scholars and the Teetotalist Movement also played a vital role in this time During World War II the island served as an important Allied military base A large segment of the British and American fleet were deployed on the island as were tens of thousands of soldiers committed to the war against Japan in Southeast Asia Independence Main article Dominion of Ceylon The formal ceremony marking the start of self rule with the opening of the first parliament at Independence Square Following the war popular pressure for independence intensified The office of Prime Minister of Ceylon was created in advance of independence on 14 October 1947 Don Stephen Senanayake being the first prime minister On February 4 1948 the country won its independence as the Dominion of Ceylon On July 21 1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike took office as prime minister and became the world s first female prime minister and the first female head of government in post colonial Asia In 1972 during Sirimavo Bandaranaike s second term as prime minister the country became a republic within the Commonwealth and the name was changed to Sri Lanka The island enjoyed good relations with the United Kingdom and had the British Royal Navy stationed at Trincomalee Civil war Main article Sri Lankan Civil War One of the aspects of the independence movement was that it was very much a Sinhalese movement As a result the Sinhalese majority attempted to remodel Sri Lanka as a Sinhalese nation state The lion in the national flag is derived from the banner of the last Sinhalese Kingdom which to the Sinhalese majority is a symbol of their fight against British colonialism One single strip of orange on the left part of the flag represents the Tamil population and it is seen by many Tamil as a symbol of their marginalisation In 1956 the Official Language Act commonly known as The Sinhala Only Act was enacted The law mandated Sinhala the language of Sri Lanka s majority Sinhalese community which is spoken by over 70 of Sri Lanka s population as the sole official language of Sri Lanka Supporters of the law saw it as an attempt by a community that had just gained independence to distance themselves from their colonial masters The immediate and intended consequence of this act was to force large numbers of Tamil who worked in the civil service and who could not meet this language requirement to resign An attempt to make Buddhism the national religion to the exclusion of Hindu and Islam was also made Affirmative action in favour of Sinhalese was also instituted ostensibly to reverse colonial discrimination against Sinhalese in favour of Tamil Many Tamil in response to this deliberate marginalisation came to believe that they deserved a separate nation state for themselves From 1983 to 2009 there was an on and off civil war against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE a separatist militant organization who fought to create an independent state named Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island Bot
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`SINHARAJA WANNAMA` Sisila Ranga 2011 by Sisila Kala – Calgary 19 Nov 2011
Alana Ambagaspitiya, Poorvi Atauda Choreographed by Chethani Ratnayake and Chatumi Ratnayake for Sisila Ranga 2011 presented by Sisila Kala – Calgary 19th of November 2011 at The Boris Roubakine Recital Hall, University of Calgary
sinharaja forest in sinhala