13th September 1998
Towards the light, to the hill country
Tea estates glow in the early morning light
Today we see the tea pluckers, smiling their way
Cows on the fields, also on green lands.
Men sitting around the fire, drinking cold beer
There are three members in my family. We live at 550, Second Stage, Anuradhapura, My father is a teacher and so is my mother. I study at
Swarnapali Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Anuradhapura. I am the only child in the family.
My grandmother is living in Anuradhapura. My parents help me in my studies. I like to live with my parents very much. My family is a happy family.
Darshika Prasadi Rajapakse
Swarnapali Balika Maha Vidyalaya Anuradhapura
On a happy sunny morning
Once on another typical sunny day,
Time passed by;
Sent by C. K. Weerawardhana
My favourite cricketer is Sanath Jayasuriya. He's a very good batsman. During a triangular series in Singapore he scored 50 runs off 17 balls and broke a world record for the fastest 50, and also got 100 runs in 48 balls. He has a record for the most number of sixers in an innings. But Shahid Afridi broke Sanath's record for the fastest 100.
Sanath is a good bowler too. During the Indian tour Sanath scored the highest number of runs by any Sri Lankans, 340. Unfortunately he could not break the world record. He lives in Boralesgamuwa. I think he will be the next captain for Sri Lanka. And maybe he'll be able to win matches more and more.
Sharing, caring is a joy for one
What is love, but a language
Love is pure and as sweet as wine
We live in a modern world. We have luxury items which make our daily life easy. Therefore we have more leisure hours.
People spend their leisure in different ways according to their interests. People who are employed are free in the evenings and on the weekends.
School children have more leisure than others but-now-a days they have to spend most of the time at tuition class and home work.
Some people play games during their leisure such as cricket, Badminton, Basketball & rugby. Games help us to keep fit and cultivate good manners.
Most people love doing gardening. House wives especially love to grow flowers like Begonias, Roses, Cactus etc. as hobbies and as well as a living.
This gives enough exercise to the body, as well as a lot of pleasure.
Reading too can be a way to spend our free time. It helps us to improve our knowledge. Reading magazines and newspapers are one way of collecting information about the world around us. We can improve our language and spellings as well.
Most people who work hard spend their leisure listening to the radio or watching the TV.
Some people like out door life. They spend their time swimming, riding, boating and walking in the open air.
Collecting stamps, Picture post cards and coins too are a popular way to spend time. It helps us to study about various countries, popular cities and the kind of money they use and also about their history.
That's how most people spend their leisure.
Harshini Rasangika Denesh
The suffering of children in the Second World War promoted the UN to set up an organisation to work towards their protection and development. Thus a tiny operation supplying children with dried milk in the aftermath of the war, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), one of the special programmes set up by the UN has become the leading international advocate for the survival, protection and development of children.
Today's programmes help children in times of peace as well as of war and emergencies. UNICEF has increasingly turned its attention to "silent emergencies" such as poverty and preventable disease. And its defence of children against cruelty, injustice and exploitation continued to break new ground in human rights.
1979 was designated the International Year of the Child & UNICEF was the "lead agency" to co-ordinate its activities.
The 1980s were dubbed "the lost decade for children" and 'a child survival revolution' was launched. The programmes launched under this banner succeeded in saving many lives mostly through low cost public health technology such as immunization. At the World Summit for Children in 1990 attended by representatives of 159 countries, a commitment was made to achieve measurable goals for children's mental and physical well being by the year 2000. These goals set the stage for two decades of progress in health and education, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection during emergencies and child rights.
The much-publicized injustices including exploitative child labour, child trafficking and sexual exploitation underscored the need for a strong body of international law protecting children. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights for children and pledges protection from violence, war, disasters and exploitation.
UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965. By the time it celebrated its 20th anniversary in the following year, UNICEF had shown how countries can work together constructively to bring help and hope for today's children.
In 1991 the heads of WHO (World Health Organisation) and UNICEF certified the achievement of immunizing 80 per cent of the world's children against six killer diseases - polio, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tuberculosis. The joint WHO/UNICEF programme saves the lives of more than 3 million children each year.
The issue of a set of six commemorative stamps marked the 50th anniversary of UNICEF on 20 November 1996. The Walt Disney Company created the artwork for the stamps, which featured six endearing children's stories. These were 'The sun and the moon' (South American legend), 'Ananse' (an African tale), 'Hansel & Gretel', 'How Maui stole fire from the gods' (Pacific island myth), 'Yen Shen' (a Cinderella story from China) and 'The ugly duckling'.
Bees, wasps and ants belong to the order of Hymenoptera. They are among the most highly organized insects, living in colonies.
Among social wasps only the queen wasp hibernates through the winter. On waking, she starts a new colony by building a 'queen nest' about the size of a ping-pong ball. It is usually in a hole in the ground or in the roof of a building. It contains a few cells in which she lays her eggs. The grubs which hatch are fed by her until they hatch into workers. All the workers are female.
Slowly the numbers build up, and in some strange way each worker take on a different task. Some collect material for enlarging the nest, by scraping off bits of wood or chewing up paper. Others remove the soil to make room for the growing nest, which may end up the size of a football. Yet others attend the queen who does nothing but lay more eggs. There are guards at the doorway, and nurses to feed the grubs.
By late summer the colony may contain 20,000 wasps. But wasps, unlike bees, do not store food, so that with the approach of winter most of the colony dies off. The workers are sterile and cannot lay eggs. What happens now is that some grubs turn into males, or drones, and others into fertile females. These will mate together. The drones then die, but the young queens live through the winter and start fresh colonies the following spring.
The life of bees is similar. Those we know best are the hive bees which have been domesticated for wild bees, and are kept by bee-keepers. They too have many workers doing different tasks. In addition they store food as honey and can last through the winter. A hive may contain 50,000 bees.
In a wasp's nest the combs are built horizontally with the cells opening downwards. In a bee's hive they are vertical with openings sideways so that the honey does not fall out.
Fresh cells are built by the worker bees. They are made of beeswax and filled with honey. The queen lays her eggs in the nursery cells. Male of drone bees develop in separate drone-cells, and young queens in much larger queen-cells. It is believed that a worker, a drone or a queen bee is produced according to the kind of food each bee is given.
One interesting discovery is the way in which a worker will collect the pollen from some flowers and return to the hive to tell the others. By turning round in circles and wiggling his abdomen, the worker can tell the other workers how far off the flowers are, and which direction to take. This is known as the "dance of the bees".
Bees have a habit of swarming when the colony gets too big. The queen takes off and some of the workers follow. They sometime settle in very odd places, like a car and even on a man's hat. The workers left behind in the hive will choose a new queen.
Termites belong to the Isoptera order and live in the tropics. Some burrow into wood and cause damage to buildings. Others nest below ground, then build upwards to form a tall ant-hill full of tunnels. In Australia these mounds can be as high as seven metres.
A termite's hill is made of mud and saliva, which sets almost as hard as iron. It is started by a male and a female. After a mating flight they settle sown and produce the first grubs. Some of these do the building and food gathering. Others with large heads and strong jaws act as soldiers to guard the nest. Meanwhile, the queen retires to her "royal" chamber. She grows to an enormous size producing thosands of eggs daily. From time to time young males and females leave the nest and fly off to start fresh colonies.
An interesting fact about these highly organized insects is that some ants and termites will gather fungus plants, and grow them in a "garden" as food for the grubs. Ants will also "milk" aphids for their honeydrew.
The lives of insects are very much affected by temperature and weather. For example, when winged ants are ready to swarm they wait for a summer's day when it is warm and still, and all swarm together over a wide area. If the weather changes they all go back to their nests, and wait for another suitable day.
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