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13th September 1998

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Junior Times

Front Page
Hello Children,

This week I thought I'll write a few words on punctuality. If you've ever been late for school, for a class or even a simple get together with your friends, you will understand that being late can cause a lot of problems. Sometimes we might get late due to an unavoidable circumstance but often it would be because of our own carelessness.

Being late can create a lot of misunderstandings and shows how inconsiderate you are. Because when you get late, your friends worry about you and when you're late for school you might end up missing a lot of lessons.

So although when you get late it doesn't seem like much, just think before you get late again.

Until next week,
Aunty Sunshine

Little England

Towards the light, to the hill country
Shines out Nuwara Eliya, our little England
The cold chill breezes, flowers, toss their heads
Giant mountains all around with sun shining on them

Tea estates glow in the early morning light
Spreading themselves like an unrolled carpet
History held here from the days of the English
When the white man ruled here and beyond

Today we see the tea pluckers, smiling their way
Filling the countryside with joy and laughter
Yards of grown vegetables together with the farmers.
Fields of strawberries, red like the youths.

Cows on the fields, also on green lands.
Gregory's Lake stands, boats coming ashore
Fire glows in the cottages, with a smell of hot tea
Young men walking with sweet maidens smiling

Men sitting around the fire, drinking cold beer
Women walking in the gardens, the place of queens
Skylarks fly and the squirrels peep in.
A city always smiling, that's our little England

Dinesh Nanayakkara
Mahamaya Girls College

My Family

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

Life span

On a happy sunny morning
On rich and fertile soil
Within the glimmering dew - drops,
rose up a tiny plant
Filled with charm and beauty
day by day it flourished.

Once on another typical sunny day,
Blossomed a tiny bud
With the passing of time
Came up a wonderful smiling rose
Perfect in perfume
Dressed in rich and brightest red
It danced and dazzeled in the sun light within the waves of cool breezes
It became the pure symbol of love
Made hearts meet with dear delight.

Time passed by;
Became gloomy the sky
With the fierce thunder
Of frustration and grief
Fell the rains of destruction;
Breeze to storm
The silky little petals shed;
In a rather sluggish manner (remembering its old splendour)
That romantic beauty all unseen (It's wise to think that)
A certain climax had never been.

Sent by C. K. Weerawardhana
Trinty College

My favourite cricketer

My favourite cricketer is Sanath Jayasuriya. He's a very good batsman. During a triangular series in Sanath JayasuriyaSingapore 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.

Shameema Alliar
Good Shephard Convent

Joy of Love

Sharing, caring is a joy for one
It could change, any human
It has a power which no one knows
A power to heal, cheer and charm.

What is love, but a language
Spoken with the heart no words can express
Love is queer, strange and bizarre
With no love a man could be harmed.

Love is pure and as sweet as wine
and completely blind.
Love has no colour and is as pure as could be
Just like water that flows down a stream so free

Tania Withanage
Good Shepherd Convent - Panadura


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
Royal Institute
Colombo 5.

Stamp News 32

Protecting children

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'.

Nature WorldSocial insects

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.

Tropical colonists

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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