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28th March 1999

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Junior Times

Front Page
Hello Children,

Cleanliness is something that all of us must take heed of. To be clean is just not washing your hands before meals and brushing your teeth before going to bed, it's much more.

You have to be clean all the time. When you wear your uniform, shoes and socks everyday to school they should be clean. Then every time you use the toilet make sure you flush after you use. Also make sure your home and school are clean.

If all these things are done in a habitual manner you wouldn't think it a chore but a pleasure.

So remember that cleanliness is not just a one time thing but should be practised always.

Until next time
Aunty Sunshine

My island home

The milky cascading waterfalls
The greenest vegetation
Give pleasure to all of us
My dearest island home
We feel very happy
To be a member of your family
You are unique in the world
These lush landscapes
Persuade our minds to stay here all the time
Your cool breeze
Hugs our body with love
so our patriotism is increasing
More and more, day by day
With your sunshine
The stones become golden
And the milky waters
Reflect the golden sunshine
Into our hearts
We're enchanted by your beauty
We cannot depart from you
Oh! I feel.... I feel....
Strange comfort
Is this a dream?
No... No... this not be a dream
This is real
So I am wondering, wondering
About your prosperity and beauty

Evita Christine Weerakoon
MR/Deniyaya Central College


My name is Jayamini Nishanthi. I'm 13 years old and I live in Moratuwa. I am a Buddhist. I go to Shikshadana M/V in Lakshapathiya. I am in year 8A. I learn eight subjects. My favourite subject is English. My hobby is reading books. My mother's name is Kanthi and she is a housewife. My father's name is Jayalath Kithsiri. He is working in the Colombo Municipal Council. I have two sisters and no brothers. I like to be a teacher.

Jayamini Nishanthi
Shikshandana M/V - Lakshapathiya


The significance of cleanliness is expressed in the well-known proverb "Cleanliness is next to Godliness". Cleanliness is a religious obligation under the law of Prophet Muhammad. Being unclean is very bad for the health as it is the main cause of most diseases like Cholera. The best way to avoid infection is by washing which will prevent germs from remaining long on the body.

Therefore the rich and the intelligent must in their own interest provide the means for the poorer neighbours to keep themselves clean. There are many crowded areas where poor people live where water is scarce. This is the chief reason why such areas become hot beds of diseases.

Nasmina Nawaz
Ilma International Girls' School - Colombo 5

Science and technology

Science feeds Technology and Technology helps science to uncover unexplored fields. So interwined are these two fields of knowledge and skill that without them the world would not be what we see today. The advancement of science equips technology with new concepts which find their application in different technologies. These advances bring about changes in our life styles.

the development of science & technology is so rapid that keeping pace with it has become a problem specially in societies of the third word countries. A product turned out to suit modern life becomes outdated even before if finds utility with the introduction of yet another more advanced type. It is therefore necessary that we keep up with the standards of the developed countries in science and technology.

Advances in biological science have led to the development of Bio Technology which is today one of the major frontiers that leads us into the 21st century.

Chandr Mohan Thinesh

Stamp News 60

First stamp based on letter rate to UK

By Uncle D.C.R.

StampIt was 142 years ago, on April 1,1857 that the first adhesive stamp was issued in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). The value was 6 pence representing the sea mail letter rate to England. (Decimal currency -Rupees & cents - with 100 cents to the rupee, was adopted only in 1872). The first stamp was printed by Perkins Bacon & Co Ltd . It had a purplish brown colour. The blue paper on which it was printed had a star watermark. It was without perforations and had to be cut from the sheet.

The stamp carried the left profile of the head of Queen Victoria, the ruler of the British empire who Stampwas also Ceylon's monarch, and the words 'CEYLON' and 'SIX PENCE'.

The first stamp was reproduced in miniature form in two stamps (35 & 85 cents) issued on April 1,1957 to mark the centenary of its issue. Another two stamps (4 & 10 cents) were also released on the same day. These depicted a postman in the early days and later developments in mail delivery when road, rail, sea and air transport was used.

On July 2,1857, four more stamps - 5d chestnut, 6d brown, 10d orange & 1 sh dull violet ówere released. They were also not perforated.

The first stamp along with ten other stamps issued between July 1857 and April 1859 (ranging from 1penny to 2 shillings) are the most expensive and most difficult to get today. It is on record that the Stampfour penny dull-rose coloured stamp is the rarest and the most expensive of all Ceylon stamps. Unbelievable prices are offered for this stamp in the world market. At one stage Stanley Gibbons catalogue put the price at 50,000 pound sterling for an unused copy in fine condition with four clear margins. The price quoted for a fine used stamp was 4,500 pounds.

There were new issues in 1861 and in 1867. The first perforated stamps where stamps can be separated easily from the sheets were first issued in 1861 when all denominations of the previous stamps which had no perforations (from 1d to 2 sh) were re-issued.

It is also on record that from 1983 to 1868, all stamps issued, except two, had a new watermark which was a Crown over the letters 'C.C.' denoting Crown Colony.

With the adoption of the decimal currency in 1872, a new definitive series of stamps was issued in the denominations of 2,4,8,16, 24,32,36,48, 64 & 96 cents and Rs 2.50. These too carried a portrait of Queen Victoria. Different colours were used to distinguish them. The values had been decided Stampapparently because though decimal currency was adopted, yet the currency was tied to the old Penny rates of postage. They were direct conversions of the pence to cents calculating 1d at 04 cents and 2 Shillings at Re1.

A new series of stamps featuring the head of King Edward VII, who had succeeded Queen Victoria after her death in 1901, was issued in 1903.

The ape family

The apes are our nearest relatives. The common characteristics we share are the ability to walk upright, a highly-developed brain, and the absence of a tail. Like us apes have hands for grasping objects, but they can also do this with their feet. Climbing is done by swinging from bough to bough using their long arms and hook-like hands. Their legs are much shorter, and they walk in a clumsy, rolling fashion.

There are four kinds of ape. The gorilla and chimpanzee are African, and the orang-utan and the gibbon live in South-East Asia. They are all good climbers, although the gorilla and chimp spend much of the time on the ground.


The gorilla is divided into two races. The lowland gorilla lives in the Congo rain forest and the mountain gorilla on the higher ground in a very isolated area of Central Africa. The latter species is in Gorillasgrave danger of extinction. Gorillas breed only once every three or four years, and this must lessen their chances of survival.

When first discovered, this splendid animal was thought to be a kind of wild and hairy man, and very dangerous. When disturbed it stands upright, roars, and beats its chest.

This looks terrifying but actually the gorilla rarely attacks. It is a shy and retiring creature, and wanders about in family groups ruled by a dominant male. It is a strict vegetarian.

At night the gorilla family retires into a tree where platforms are built of branches and leaves to make beds. The male in charge sometimes stays at the foot of the tree on guard.

A full-sized male can weigh up to 200 kilograms. The coat on his back becomes silver grey in maturity. He stands up to two metres high when erect. Although tremendously powerful, a gorilla is delicate in captivity and needs protection from human diseases.

Gorillas are less affectionate towards each other than other monkeys and apes. There are no great displays of social grooming. However, infant gorillas and their mothers remain very close up to the age of three or four. This is possibly because the baby is more helpless at birth than other apes.


Chimpanzees also live in groups, spending much of the time on the ground. Their high level of intelligence makes them very popular in zoos and circuses, and they readily learn and pick up tricks.

They are the best tool users in the animal world. Although mainly vegetarian, chimps will sometimes catch and eat small mammals, including other monkeys, and birds.

Chimpanzees like company but do not live in permanent troops. They are individuals and tend to avoid quarrels within a group by simply moving to another group. Their society is much more loosely organized than the baboons.

The ape family

Our knowledge of these two African apes has been greatly increased by scientists who have lived with them in the jungle and befriended them, even to the extent of being part of the troop.

Orang-utans and gibbons

The orang-utan of Borneo and Sumatra is a large ape with long, reddish hair. Unlike the lively chimp, it is a solemn-looking ape whose movements are slow and deliberate. It also is the most human in appearance. A male weighs up to 100 kilograms and has a heavy pouch under its chin. The name orang-utan is Malayan for "man of the woods."

Much time is spent in the trees, feeding on leaves and fruit, especially the durian fruit. The orang-utan is now in danger of extinction. Hunters kill the mother and thereby catch the young ape which stays with her up until the age of two. It is then sold to zoos. This trade has now been largely stopped. But a greater danger now facing the species is the loss of its forest home. More and more forest is being cut down and turned into farmland.

Gibbons are the most agile of apes, and also the smallest. They weigh only six kilograms when fully grown. They are marvellous acrobats, swinging rapidly through the tree-tops, and even running along branches that are little more than a tight-rope. They can also walk and run along the ground in an upright position, holding out their arms for balance. They and the orang-utans are the best adapted of all the apes for life in the trees.

Gibbons are faithful to their mates, and live in solitary families. They can be very noisy when alarmed, and will hoot and howl loudly. The calls are mainly used in defending their territory. The siamangs of Sumatra have vocal sacs to deepen the sound that they can produce.

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