Are we sitting on an asbestos time bomb? President Maithripala Sirisena as the Environment Minister said that Steps will be taken to ban import of asbestos roofing sheets by 2018 (http://www.president.gov.lk/news/steps-to-ban-import-of-asbestos-roofing-sheets-by-2018/). The bad effects of Asbestos sheets has been known for a long time, but little action has been taken. Here is my 2011 article discussing the bad effects of Asbestos, emphasizing the need to minimize its usage. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/110710/News/nws_15.html ***********************

Yala was no sanctuary for this leopard More animals die so that we can ride in comfort  In more sad news from Yala, the body of a female leopard was found on Friday inside Yala National Park itself, on the verge of the Jamburagala road. The body had no apparent scars but the postmortem revealed the leopard died due to a broken neck (spinal code). There was ...

Sri Lankans star in Hollywood epic Where humans failed, our rilawas succeeded Although human Sri Lankans have failed to take leading roles in Hollywood a film composed entirely of Sri Lankans has now entered the history books and the actors are our closest cousins, our own rilawas, the endemic toque macaques (Macaca sinica). The epic story of a monkey troop living in Polonnaruwa, captured in ...

Youths band together to protect elusive fishing cat On the heels of last week’s story of innocent animals dying in collisions with speeding vehicles is a positive report of young people erecting road signs to prevent Sri Lanka’s second-largest wild cat falling prey to careless motorists. The first signs went up last week at Gannoruwa and Haloluwa critical fishing cat death sites in the Kandy district. The fishing ...

Untitled Post A roar of protest has gone up from animal lovers at a plan to transfer four young sloth bears under the guardianship of Department of Wildlife to the National Zoological Gardens, with calls for the bears to be rehabilitated and released to live free in the wild instead of in a cage. The bears were to have been released into ...

Environmentalists fight Wilpattu clearance in court On 4th of August, it was reported that The Court of Appeal issued notice on Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to appear in court on September 16 following a writ petition filed against illegal removal of forest cover and illegal re settlement in Wilpattu National Park. (http://www.dailymirror.lk/82059/rishard-issued-notice-on-wilpattu-issue). Here is my article published on the SundayTimes on 24th of May, 2015. Environmentalists to ...

Customs seize large haul of live tortoises at airport For the second time  this month, the customs Biodiversity Protection Unit has seized a consignment of live tortoises attempted to be smuggled out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia through Katunayake International Air Port yesterday. The little tortoises were concealed with live crabs in 07 packages exported by a company in Yakkala. There were 448 tortoises weighing 200kg and valued at Rs.405,879 according to Leslie Gamini, Customs ...

..beneath Ramazan’s Crescent Moon..!! My little daughter who enjoys watching the moon every night paid my attention today to the Crescent Moon appeared on the cloudy sky. It also reminded me that today is the Ramazan Festival as celebrated by the Muslims ending their month long fasting ritual with the sighting of this ‘New Moon’. I took a photo of the Ramazan Moon and ...

Patience, passion and moments like these With his camera as his constant companion, Riaz Cader’s love for wildlife has taken him places. Catch his maiden photography exhibition Eye on the Wild, on May 30, 31 at the Lionel Wendt  Time to frolic: A leopard on the white sands of Wilpattu Riaz Cader has followed his passion for wildlife from a young age. Taking his camera ...

Celebrating Biodiversity Day with කොස් කොත්තු & පොළොස් කට්ලට් The world celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity each year on 22nd of May. In Sri Lanka atleast 3 events were held to mark this important day paying attention to the Earth’s Biological Diversity. The main event was organized by the Ministry of Environment (Biodiversity secretariat) and Ministry of Agriculture commissioning a food outlet ‘Hela Bojun’ that promotes food made ...

Sri Lanka still a hub for seahorse trade? The 60kg of dried seahorses that two Chinese were attempting to smuggle out of Sri Lanka last week were intended to satisfy the myth of aphrodisiacal benefits that seals the fate of 150 million wild seahorses a year globally. The species cannot sustain such a casualty toll, conservationists say. The hundreds of slaughtered seahorses were concealed in the baggage of two Chinese ...

Tour of Trees in Colombo Today morning (17th.May) the National Trust Sri Lanka (NTSL) conducted a Tour of Trees in Colombo making the participants aware of the varied selection of large trees that are hardly noticed within the city environment. Though urbanized, Colombo still has lots of large trees where some of them are over 100 years. Vihara Maha Devi Park (formerly Victoria Park) and its suburban ...

Energy – Make it Bird Friendly..!! On World Migratory Bird Day this weekend (9-10 of May), Sri Lanka celebrates the 200 birds that migrate to the island annually and become an important part of this country’s biodiversity. These birds fly thousands of kilometres, even crossing great oceans, in order to reach their destinations during the two-way journey. They are vulnerable to dangers lying in their path that ...

Plans to setup National Parks at North Conservationists plan for setup new National Parks. Also stresses the importance of genuine and thorough protection for these areas and not simply labelling them “national parks”.  The government has stretched out a hand of protection of the threatened wildlife across the north, from the ragged ponies of Delft to birds that breed only on a single islet in the Adam’s ...

Lanka safe from major quakes but “home” plate is splitting Geologists claim Sri Lanka has very little chance of experiencing a major earthquake but point out the importance of preparedness given the disaster in Nepal. A bulldozer clears debris from collapsed houses following the earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal. REUTERS An earthquake usually occurs when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another, hit each other or break apart ...

The buzzing Vesak decoration on the 6th floor Decorations adorn many buildings at Vesak – but the staff of an office in Dehiwela found a special decoration covering one of their 6th floor The curtain of bees covering the Dehiwela office building window windows: a close look revealed it was a swarm of bees spread like a curtain across a part of a large glass window. The bees ...

..beneath the Vesak Full Moon…!! Today is Vesak. I was awakened until late last night trying to complete the Vesak Lanterns. Then I spot Vesak Full Moon-  The sky was clear and the whole area was glowing with the light spreading by the moon relatively undisturbed by the lights of the vehicles, houses etc.. There are vesak lanterns, pandols and various other forms we use ...

‘Weli katussa’ species unique to Sri Lanka Three young researchers have determined that Sri Lanka has its own species of fan-throated lizards – creatures that puff out an extraordinary frill around their throats to warn off intruders – and that in fact the island has two distinct varieties. Until now it had been assumed that the fan-throated lizards found in Sri Lanka were the same as in ...

Two froggy sisters make news The Kandyan Dwarf Toad, dubbed the world’s rarest toad, has become a more select amphibian with the discovery that it shares its genus with only one other species, not two as previously thought. The toad, a member of the Adenomus genus, was discovered and last seen in the 1870s and had been thought to be extinct until it was found again ...

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