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21st June 1998

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Junior Times

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Hello Children,

This week we have some interesting facts about corals. Did you know that coral reefs take centuries to form? It is very important that we protect the corals since they prevent erosion. If you go to Hikkaduwa or even to Negombo you can see corals in various shapes and sizes. Don't be tempted to buy them as we all have to do our bit to protect the environment.

Today is also the day dedicated to fathers all over the world. So why not give your fathers a big hug and show them that you love them, not only today but always.

Until next week

Aunty Sunshine


River flows, river flows
Sometimes it flows very slowly
Sometimes very roughly
sometimes very happy and
sometimes full of sorrow
It contains plenty of water
It helps us to live happily.
It goes towards the sea like our life.

Thilini Aluthgamage

Mahamaya Girls' College, Kandy


You are precious to me my darling mother,
Who brought me into this world,
The most beautiful lady in my heart.
You are my dearest best friend,
With a loving heart and a smiling face,
Always ready to guide me along the correct way.
You teach me to be an obedient
and disciplined child,
And encourage me in my education,
Because mother dear you love me so.
What should I give you as a reward?
A bouquet of roses or a special gift?
But I promise to make you happy in everything I do.
I thank God the Good Lord daily,
For the wonderful mother He gave me.

Menoji Karunaratne

Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy.

Time to rethink......

We remember now and then
with a heartfull of gratitude
The ''Arahath Mihidu''
who spread the fragrance
of the ''Buddha Dhamma''
in this sacred land
It will be a real Fragrance
if we take it to our own lives
so, it's time to ''rethink''
the ''Buddha's sayings''
On this poson day.
"Every one is the creator of himself
and his acts will decide the future
of himself"
No one saves us, but ourselves.
If each living being is his own creator
how could there be such "difference'',
between human beings as we see in the
world today?
That is a "Universal" Question
which we, altogether must resolve
we "ourselves" must walk the path.
The attitude of being thankful to everyone
and having a peaceful mind
Is the only key to open the door
to the paradise of this earth
"Learn the way of doing good and avoiding evil"
The "Buddha'' taught his Dhamma for the
purpose fo helping human society.
We should confront all the hardships
and troubles with the Dhamma which will bring
peace on the earth.

Janadari Kapugama

Mahamaya Girls' College, Kandy.


My name is Fathima Rizmiya Amzadeen. I am eleven years old. I live in Alawathugoda. I attend Badi- Udeen Mahmud National Girls' College, Kandy. I am in year 7 B.

My father's name is A.R.M. Amzadeen. My father works at the (C.T.B.) Depot as an Inspector. My mother's name is Dulfiya Amzadeen. I have two brothers and three sisters.

My favourite subjects are English, Tamil and Art. My hobbies are reading children's story books and collecting? I like to eat mangoes and chocolates. My best friend's name is Hidaya Nazar. My ambition is to be a good teacher.

Fathima Rizmiya Amzadeen.

Badi-Udeen Mahmud National Girls' College, Kandy.

Christopher Columbus

We have all heard of Christopher Columbus. His name is known all over the world, because he was the first man who sailed to America. Because he discovered this land he's called the discoverer of the New World.

Columbus was born about five hundred years ago, in the city of Genoa, in the north of Italy. Genoa, we know, is a great Seaport. So it was natural that Columbus should know a great deal about the sea, about ships and sailors.

His father was a poor weaver. His son Christopher however, did not follow the weaver's trade but became a sailor. When he was grown up, he left Italy and went to Portugal. On the west side of Portugal, as you know, is the Atlantic Ocean. This great Ocean stretches away from Europe to America a distance of three thousand miles.


Zahira College, Gampola

A conversation

Pinith:- Good Morning. Rizan.
Rizan :- Good Morning. My dear. So how is life?
Pinith:- Not so bad, just existing.
Rizan:- By the way, where are you going now?
Pinith:- I am going to see a film. Do you like to join me?
Rizan:- I wish I could, what's the movie?
Pinith:- It's a Bond movie.
Rizan:- I like to see it with you,but now I am going to the hospital to see my friend Naazly.
Pinith:- What is the matter with him?
Rizan:- He has had a fracture
Pinith:-In what sort of condition is he ?
Rizan:- He's not so bad, he's recovering.
Pinith:- I hope he'll recover soon. Then see you later, Good bye.
Rizan :- Bye.

Imesha Sanjeewani.

Convent of Mary Immaculate. (Matara).

Unjustly punished

It was sad day for me, when I had to undergo an unjust punishment from my teacher. I was blamed for something I hadn't done. Even my friends lied about me and told my teacher that I was to blame. I did not know what type of punishment I was going to have. Some of my classmates were for the punishment. But some were against it.

In any case I had to face my punishment with little or no help at all.

Anusha Narendran

Kingston College International, Colombo-6

Stamp News 21

Our indigenous people

By Uncle DCR

The death of the Veddah chief Tissahamy re cently marked the end of an era where as head of 79 families he tried hard to preserve their identity without yielding to modern day pressures. He fought hard against moves to push his community out of the traditional areas.

Following tradition, immediately after Tissahamy's funeral, which was held at Kotabakiniyawa, Dambana, his son Uruwarigaye Wanniya was proclaimed the leader. Symbolising his acceptance as Veddah chief, he was handed over a hand axe and a pair of bow and arrows used by chiefs of three generations.

The Veddahs were featured on two stamps issued on 12th September 1994 to mark the International Year for the World's Indigenous People. The Year (1993) was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to recognise and strengthen the role of indigenous people in the world. It was highlighted that like many other indigenous communities, the Veddah community was also becoming victims of 'development' activity designed and implemented without their involement. These circumstances have led to the gradual sinking of their living spaces and the erosion of their identity, culture and traditions.

The issue of the stamps marked the culmination of numerous activities undertaken by a National Committee appointed by the Government to embark on a programme of indigenous people. This initiative was designed to help the people of Sri Lanka to gain a better understanding of the country's indigenous people and their concerns and to assist them to protect their identity and values. A wide range of media activities, conferences and discussions, production of literature, research and surveys, development of archives and museums for the preservation of artifacts of indigenous people were done by the Committee.

The Rs. 1 stamp depicted a Veddah making his bow, the traditional symbol with which his community is associated, and the Rs. 17 stamp showed a Veddah relaxing beside a wall decorated with some of their rock art.

Let's protect our corals

Coral reefs take centuries to develop and the foundations are part of a complex ecosystem. CoralsThousands of species, fish and invertebrates inhabit coral reefs and the fry of many other commercially valuable species of fish depend on the reefs as a nursery. Almost 10% of Sri Lanka's coast line is flanked by coral reefs, the most extensive reefs being found along the CoralsNorthern and Eastern shores. Sri Lanka's reefs are facing increasing pressure due to human activities. Threats include the collection of live corals for lime kilns and for sale as ornamental to tourist; destructive methods of ornaments fish collection; bad fishery practices; use of reef for harbours; irresponsible tourism-related activities; coastal development activities and population.

This is what destroys the sea, thus causing massive erosion as well as less beach land to walk on and enjoy nature at its best.

How can you help save the coral reefs of Sri Lanka?

1. Do not remove corals or fish from the reefs
2. Do not stand on the corals as they break easily and it takes centuries for them to grow back.
3. Don't throw rubbish into the sea, because pollution kills coral reefs
4. Don't encourage the selling of corals to your friends or relatives who come from aboard.
5. Tell your friends and family to protect the coral reefs. If they are not carefully looked after now they will be lost for ever and the next generation would never see the beauty of coral ever again.

Nature WatchSimple water animals

Jellyfish, sea anemones and corals are among the simplest multicellular animals. There are about 9,000 different species and fossil records date from the Cambrian Period.

These animals are collectively called coelenterates, a word which comes from the Greek meaning "cavity" and very aptly describes their basic body shape. All coelenterates are simply a hollow sac with a mouth at one end surrounded by tentacles.

The body wall of coelenterates is made up of three layers. The inner layer lines the cavity and performs the function of a gut. The middle layer is jelly-like and varies considerably in thickness; in jellyfish it forms the bulk of the body. The outer layer contains the special stinging cells called cnidoblasts. These cells are only found in coelenterates and are one of the reasons why these primitive animals have survived and developed so successfully. They are found in greatest concentrations around the mouth and on the tentacles; when the hair-like trigger of a cnidoblast is touched by a likely food item - a small fish or shrimp - a thread is shot out. Some threads impale the prey with their barbed tips, others inject a minute drop of poison, while another variety entangles the animal. Once the food is caught it is pushed into the mouth by the tentacles.

Coelenterates can be divided into three classes. There are the hydrozoans made up of the hydroids and the siphonophores; the scyphozoans or jellyfish, and the anthrozoans which include sea anemones and corals.

Coelenterates also have two very distinct shapes. There is the sedentary anemone-type animal known as a polyp, and the free-swimming jellyfish-type called a medusa.

Hydroids and siphonophores

Hydrozoans live mainly as the polyp stage, although their life cycle alternates from polyp to medusa and back. Hydra, one of the few coelenterates which has invaded fresh water, lives as a solitary polyp attached to water plants or rocks. Most of the time Hydra remains in one place but it can move along by a slow, creeping motion or, more effectively, by actually somersaulting over itself. Other hydroids, such as Obelia, form branching plant-like colonies. Close examination of each branch reveals many tiny polyps.

Siphonophores are also colonial, Hydrozoans. Although looking like jellyfish, their tentacles and digestive unit are made up of thousands of polyps. Some, such as the notorious Portuguese man o'war, have large gas-filled floats up to 30 centimetres long which give them buoyancy and enable them to drift about the oceans.

The floats are often brightly coloured, and are thought to consist of specially adapted medusae.


This class contains the true jellyfish which rhythmically pulsate their way through the seas. Jellyfish live almost entirely as the medusa form, a tiny polyp stage only occurring during reproduction. They range in size from a few millimetres to the largest, Cyanea capillata, which can reach a size of two metres across. The stinging cells on the tentacles of tropical jellyfish sometimes contain deadly poisons, and even the two species found in British waters can cause painful stings.

Sea anemones and corals

Antherozoans exist entirely in the polyp form and are either solitary, such as the sea anemone, or live in colonies like corals. They look very similar to hydrozoans but the body is usually shorter and stouter and the cavity inside is divided into sections.

Sea anemones are extremely widespread, ranging from intertidal rock pools to the great depths of the Philippine Trench some 12,000 metres down. Most sea anemones attach themselves to rocks but some species live on the shells of hermit crabs.

Coral is simply a colony of anemones, each protected by a hard calcareous cup. The stony skeleton is secreted by the polyps and is almost pure calcium carbonate. Some colonies of stony corals are 70 million years old and have slowly grown to form the vast coral reefs and atolls of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Not all coral is hard. In southwest England a coral with the rather unfortunate name, Dead Man's Fingers, is found. The skeleton of this coral is made up of a tough jelly-like substance and contains many hard spicules.

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