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Canada Today: 150 Years Ago, the No. 1 Destination and Lots of Hockey

Posted on 07 January 2017 by TSL


The Centennial Flame, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, was built to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary in 1967. Credit David Giral for The New York Times

There was no revolution to bind the nation together; instead, an array of factors drove the consolidation, including the descent of the United States into a Civil War that had only recently ended and the economic and military threats the country posed. Not everyone joined the new nation at first. And while most of the interior was only sparsely settled by Europeans, no one took the views of indigenous people into account.

Even so, it was a moment of foundation: 150 years ago, the British North America Act was passed by Parliament in London, combining three British colonies — Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — into a single Dominion of Canada.

As Canadians set out to celebrate all that the country has become and what they have achieved since then, the Times’s Travel editors have been looking north. And for their 12th annual Places to Go list, they have ranked Canada as the world’s top travel destination.

“Canada has it all (O.K., maybe not tropical beaches),” the editors wrote. “It’s a world unto itself, with Vancouver Island surf breaks, culinary delights in Toronto and Montreal, and natural glories of parks like Banff in Alberta.”

Courtesy: Ian Austen, NewYork Times – Jan. 6, 2017

As many Canadian readers of this newsletter have pointed out in emails, the editors also noted that Canada’s wonders are not well known by many of the country’s American neighbors.

“Let’s face it, clichés of Mounties and hockey aside, Canada remains a terra incognita for Americans and much of the world,” the editors wrote. “It’s a great time to correct that, as the country celebrates its 150th anniversary this year (which means free admission all year to those national parks) and currently offers a generous exchange rate with the United States dollar.”

As part of Places to Go, five Canadian authors contributed essays about places in Canada “that have lodged in their psyches.” For Madeleine Thien, the author of “Do Not Say We Have Nothing,” which was recently awarded both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, that place is Port Hardy, British Columbia, which is on the northern point of Vancouver Island.

“Port Hardy is a microcosm of Canada: a resource-dependent town with a complex human and environmental history,” Ms. Thien wrote. “The land of the Kwakiutl, whose name translates to ‘smoke of the world,’ was taken into ownership — both private and national — by gunpoint, dishonored treaties and restrictive and discriminatory laws.”

We are also asking everyone, through Facebook, to share their recommendations for places to visit in Canada.

The Times’s 360 Degree video producers also take you, in a virtual way, to the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge in Squamish, British Columbia. The result depends on your opinion of dizzying heights.

While there is no signature event on the scale of Expo 67, the world’s fair that was the highlight of the centennial celebrations 50 years ago, Canadians will still be celebrating the country’s birthday in a variety of ways this year, and we will be reporting on some of them.

Finally, in Travel, and related to Canada’s top destination status, the 36 Hours feature comes to Ottawa, the city where I live. Remy Scalza, a writer from Vancouver, B.C., visited some classic but still worthwhile destinations, like Parliament Hill. Perhaps inevitably, he ate a BeaverTail, a flat, deep fried piece of dough. But he also made his way to neighborhoods that visitors often overlook, like Hintonburg (or Wellington West, as it has come to be known since its revival), and he sought out some of the city’s best breads and pastries at a bakery hidden in a gritty industrial complex.

Grounded Canada also had a travel-related news event this week. Calgary police arrested an airline pilot who was apparently so drunk that he passed out in the cockpit of an airliner that was preparing to take off with 99 passengers bound for the sun and warmth of Mexico.

Ice Battles Stephen Smith told the story of how the 228th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force briefly became one of hockey’s best teams in the middle of World War I.

Ice Ownership At 23, Alexandre Tanguay is one of the youngest team owners in professional sports. Tal Pinchevsky looked into the story of Mr. Tanguay, a member of a leading Quebec hockey family, who owns the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League while he studies finance at the University of Quebec.

Ice Heartbreak Canada lost the world junior hockey championship in Montreal on Thursday in a shootout with the United States. While the tournament was underway, Dhiren Mahiban looked into the lifelong friendships some players form while competing for their country as juniors on national teams — friendships that endure through later professional rivalries in the National Hockey League.

Here are some articles from The Times over the last week, not necessarily related to Canada and perhaps overlooked, that I found interesting:

— China, which Canada has identified as a potential oil customer, plans to spend more than $360 billion on renewable energy through 2020.

— After a critic took exception to the season opener of the television series “Sherlock,” one of the creators of the series followed the lead of Arthur Conan Doyle and responded in verse.

— Jean Vuarnet, the French Olympian who reshaped the form of downhill skiing, has died at the age of 83.

— While Canada was in World War I from the beginning, the United States fought only briefly at the end. But the “war to end all wars” nevertheless influenced American art.

 

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The Cabot Trail- Nova Scotia, Canada has been named the 3rd most breathtaking highways of the world!

Posted on 04 January 2017 by TSL

The Cabot Trail- Nova Scotia, Canada has been named the 3rd most breathtaking highways of the world!

Although Canada has many scenic places to visit for tourists, the Cabot Trail is an unforgettable stretch of road to drive on! Located in Nova Scotia, the highway was particularly built to attract tourists and has ever since been one of the greatest places for travel freaks to visit and experience the beauty of nature! The highway passes through the amazing places of Cape Breton Highlands National Park and also through that rugged coastline that makes your journey unforgettable.

 

The Cabot Trail is a highway and scenic roadway in northern Victoria County and Inverness County on Cape Breton Island in Nova ScotiaCanada.

The route measures 298 km (185 mi) in length and completes a loop around the northern tip of the island, passing along and through the scenic Cape Breton Highlands. It is named after the explorer John Cabot who landed in Atlantic Canada in 1497, although most historians agree his landfall likely took place in Newfoundland and not Cape Breton Island. (Premier Angus L. MacDonald attempted to re-brand Nova Scotia for tourism purposes as primarily Scottish and, as part of this effort, created both the names Cape Breton Highlands and Cabot Trail.)[1] Construction of the initial route was completed in 1932.

Its northern section of the Cabot Trail passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The western and eastern sections follow the rugged coastline, providing spectacular views of the ocean. The southwestern section passes through the Margaree River valley before passing along Bras d'Or Lake.

This trail is the only trunk secondary highway in Nova Scotia which does not have a signed route designation. Road signs along the route instead have a unique mountain logo.

The road is internally referred to by the Department of Transportation and Public Works as Trunk 30. The Trunk 30 road named the "Cabot Trail" loops from Exit 7 on Nova Scotia Highway 105 at Buckwheat Corner to Exit 11 on Highway 105 at South Haven. The scenic travelway known as the "Cabot Trail" includes all of Trunk 30, as well as the portion of Highway 105 between exits 7 and 11.

The entire route is open year-round.

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Recalling success of United Way Cricket Match in Toronto

Posted on 01 August 2016 by TSL

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED WAY CRICKET 1989

A major event in the history of Canadian cricket occurred on November 5, 1989 when the United Way Cricket Match held at the Toronto Sky Dome between the West Indies and a Rest of the World X1 drew a crowd of 40,570 to set a new attendance record for North America. It was also a bonanza for the United Way of Greater Toronto when a record total of $550,000 was raised for charity. The first game to be played indoors took place at the-then SkyDome on Nov. 5, 1989. At the time fans were starved of international cricket as there was no television coverage. So it came as no surprise that 40,000 raucous fans attended the charity match for the United Way to watch the likes of the legendary Viv Richards. Ben Sennick led the South Asian/Black/Caribbean communities in the organization of the first United Way Cricket match in Toronto.

Rest of the World XI v West Indies XI, 1989 Toronto Skydome 5 November 1989 (50-over match)

Result:West Indies XI won by 11 runs

Toss: West Indies XI Umpires: HD Bird (Eng) and DR Shepherd (Eng) Man of the Match:CA Best, DL Houghton

Players per side:12 (11 bat, 11 field)

West Indies XI innings (50 overs maximum)
DL Haynes                                b Pringle             11
PV Simmons                           c & b Pringle             20
RB Richardson         c Jones            b Chatfield           48
+PJL Dujon            c Mendis           b Hughes              11
*IVA Richards         c Waugh            b Hughes              19
KLT Arthurton         c Waugh            b Jones               28
CA Best                                  b Majid Khan          70
RC Haynes             st Houghton        b Jones                2
CEL Ambrose                              b Majid Khan           1
AL Logie              c Majid Khan       b Jones                0
IR Bishop             not out                                  13
Extras                (lb 5)                                    5
Total                 (all out, 39.5 overs)                   228

DNB: WKM Benjamin.

FoW: 1-25 (DL Haynes), 2-32 (Simmons), 3-63 (Dujon),
     4-103 (Richards), 5-122 (Richardson), 6-161 (Arthurton),
     7-168 (RC Haynes), 8-169 (Ambrose), 9-228 (Best),
     10-228 (Logie).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Lawson                       5      1     20      0
Pringle                      5      0     20      2
Hughes                       5      1     38      2
Fraser                       4      0     24      0
Chatfield                    5      0     21      1
Jones                       10      1     61      3
Majid Khan                   5.5    0     39      2

Rest of the World XI innings (target: 229 runs from 50 overs)
+DL Houghton          run out                                  86
Farooq Kirmani        c Best             b Bishop               1
DM Jones              c Simmons          b Arthurton            0
Zaheer Abbas          c Best             b RC Haynes            1
SR Waugh              c Benjamin         b Arthurton            2
LRD Mendis            c Simmons          b Benjamin            65
Majid Khan            c Benjamin         b Simmons              1
DR Pringle                               b Ambrose             36
MG Hughes             c Dujon            b Bishop               0
ARC Fraser                               b Ambrose              8
*GF Lawson            not out                                   4
Extras                (lb 7, w 3, nb 3)                        13
Total                 (all out, 46.3 overs)                   217

DNB: EJ Chatfield.

FoW: 1-13 (Farooq Kirmani), 2-21 (Jones), 3-22 (Zaheer Abbas),
     4-37 (Waugh), 5-135 (Mendis), 6-146 (Majid Khan),
     7-178 (Houghton), 8-186 (Hughes), 9-210 (Fraser),
     10-217 (Pringle).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Ambrose                      7.3    1     18      2 (1nb)
Bishop                      10      1     18      2 (1nb, 2w)
Arthurton                    7      0     30      2 (1nb)
RC Haynes                    5      0     41      1
Best                         2      0     26      0
Benjamin                     8      0     42      1 (1w)
Simmons                      7      1     35      1

  • The match was played on an artificial pitch under the SkyDome roof (the outside temperature was around freezing), in front of a crowd of 40,570, in aid of the United Way of Greater Toronto Charity. It raised around CAN$550,000
 


World XI v West Indies
 


United Way Charity Match 1990
Venue Toronto Skydome on 4th November 1990 (50-over match)
   
Toss West Indies won the toss and decided to field
Result West Indies won by 4 wickets
Umpires SA Bucknor, A Gudgeon
Man of the Match CA Best, SR Tendulkar

World XI innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s S-Rate
Mudassar Nazar c Ambrose b Walsh 30          
GD Mendis c Richardson b Hooper 47          
PA de Silva c Haynes b Bishop 20          
M Azharuddin c Dujon b Ambrose 14          
+Imran Khan c Dujon b Walsh 62          
SR Tendulkar c Walsh b Ambrose 54          
NH Fairbrother not out 27          
*DL Houghton not out 23          
Kapil Dev did not bat            
M Prabhakar did not bat            
Maninder Singh did not bat            
Extras (10 lb, 15 nb, 7 w) 32
Total (6 wickets, innings closed, 50 overs) 309
   
West Indies bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls S-Rate Econ
Bishop 10 0 56 1 60.00 5.60
Ambrose 10 1 47 2 30.00 4.70
Marshall 10 0 74 0 7.40
Walsh 10 0 70 2 30.00 7.00
Hooper 10 0 52 1 60.00 5.20

West Indies innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s S-Rate
+DL Haynes c Tendulkar b Imran Khan 22          
CA Best run out 96          
RB Richardson c Mendis b Maninder Singh 78          
BC Lara c Mudassar Nazar b de Silva 14          
AL Logie b de Silva 27          
CL Hooper not out 41          
MD Marshall c Fairbrother b Prabhakar 7          
*PJL Dujon not out 13          
CEL Ambrose did not bat            
CA Walsh did not bat            
IR Bishop did not bat            
Extras (4 lb, 4 nb, 4 w) 12
Total (6 wickets, 49.2 overs) 310
   
World XI bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls S-Rate Econ
Kapil Dev 8.2 0 50 0 6.00
Imran Khan 10   0 60 1 60.00 6.00
Mano Prabhakar 10   1 69 1 60.00 6.90
Maninder Singh 10   0 43 1 60.00 4.30
Mudassar Nazar 1   0 11 0 11.00
Aravinda de Silva 8   0 56 2 24.00 7.00
S. Tendulkar 2   0 17 0 8.50
 


 
 


 
   
   
   
   
   
   

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The British North America Act. gave birth to the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867

Posted on 01 August 2016 by TSL

Canada150Towards Confederation

One hundred and fifty years ago in Charlottetown and Québec City, the Fathers of Confederation first dreamed of a united and prosperous Canada.

In the mid-19th century, British North America was a patchwork of colonial lands that included two colonies on the Pacific coast, the North-Western Territory and Rupert’s Land, the Province of Canada (previously Lower and Upper Canada), the colony of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Each province had its own legislature and governor, and reported to the British government. However, a number of social, economic and security issues encouraged some people to consider a union or alliance. The American Civil War was over and there were fears of annexation; Britain was reluctant to spend more money on the colonies and was encouraging self-sufficiency.

When the Province of Canada heard that the Maritime provinces were meeting to discuss a union among themselves, Governor General of Canada Lord Charles Monck, on behalf of John A. Macdonald, George Brown and George-Etienne Cartier, asked Maritime leaders if they could broaden the discussion to include Canada. The three premiers – Sir Charles Tuper of Nova Scotia, Sir Samuel Leonard Tiller of New Brunswick and John Hamilton Gray of Prince Edward Island agreed to meet with them, and a conference was convened in Charlottetown 150 years ago in September 1864.

A convincing proposal, first introduced at the Charlottetown Conference, was elaborated at the Quebec Conference, and became the framework for Confederation. Three years later, the vision of  a union was realized at the London Conference with the creation of the British North America Act. The Act finalized the union of the provinces and on July 1, 1867, gave birth to the Dominion of Canada.

Courtesy: Government of Canada website.

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Sri Lanka team that won World Cup was most patriotic – Arjuna Ranatunga

Posted on 07 December 2015 by TSL

Courtesy: Sunday Island December 7, 2013

Sri Lanka beat India twice in the 1996 World Cup final including in the semi-final in front of 110,000 spectators. Romesh Kaluwitharana’s brilliant stumping of Sachin Tendulkar in the semi-final triggered the Indian collapse. Former Sri Lanka captain, Arjuna Ranatunga said the team that won the 1996 World Cup under his tenure was the most patriotic side to come out from the country. Ranatunga was speaking at an event organised by Wills Realtors. "The batch of 1996 was the most patriotic one to play for the country," he said. The 14 members of that World Cup winning side have got together with Wills Realtors and Vivanta Associates to develop a cricket based real estate project. The structure of the project would resemble a bat and a ball with it being located in the Sri Lankan capital – Sri Jayawardanapura. "The land was given to the 14 of us after we won the 1996 World Cup, but we did not think of doing anything seriously given the state of our country. But, a few months back we felt why not do something with it," said Ranatunga. "This might be slightly expensive compared to some of the other buildings but we want it to be a unique project, relevant to the World Cup and it is like a memento for the future Sri Lankans. Otherwise it will be a general building and the value won’t be there for us."

Ranatunga was present at the event along with Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwithrana, Ravindra Pushpakumara and Chaminda Vaas. They are also planning to make arrangements in the new project for some past cricketers who aren’t financially very well off. "We are trying to get some money through this project to lift the lifestyle of some of the past cricketers. They can be 70-80 year olds or immediate cricketers. We have seen some of them struggling very badly. That is why all 14 of us thought this is the right time," he said. He continued, "We wanted to create some awareness among the Sri Lankans plus collect some money to look after school cricket and also to protect some of the past cricketers. It is a 200-300 unit project." The cricketers are also planning to have a museum, indoor nets and a swimming pool in the facility.

Aravinda de Silva wasn’t present at the event, but addressed the crowd through a recorded message. "I hope there are good restaurants as well. We had to make sacrifices during our playing days for the fitness regime set by Alex Kountouris," he said. Sri Lanka had played poorly in World Cup tournaments until the 1996 event in sub-continent. They weren’t one of the fancied teams to win competition in 1996, but the team gained momentum throughout the tournament and went onto win the final against Australia by seven wickets in Lahore, Pakistan. Ranatunga scored the winning runs and the game was set up by Aravinda de Silva’s magnificent unbeaten century. Sri Lanka’s bowling attack was one of the weakest in the competition, but they made amends by being the best fielding unit in the competition. A unique feature during the competition was Sri Lanka beating India and one the pre-tournament favourites twice in their own soil. Since the 1996 triumph, Sri Lanka reached the World Cup finals twice in 2007 and 2011 but lost to Australia and India respectively. In 2003, Sri Lanka were the losing semi-finalists going down to eventual champions Australia.

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Jaffna Re-visited – by Jayantha Jayewardene

Posted on 21 June 2014 by TSL

Jaffna Library

I have gone to Jaffna three times. My first visit to Jaffna was in 1956 when my parents took my brother and myself to Jaffna. The second visit was when the late Gamini Dissanayake took a team of Mahaweli agronomists, for a week, to study the agricultural practices in the Jaffna peninsula. The third visit was at the beginning of June this year, when we went to carry out a schools awareness program.

On my first visit we drove to Jaffna from Kandy. I was 12-years old. I don’t remember much of that visit but do remember the Casuarina beach, vast stretches of cultivations of vegetables, the unique method of drawing water for agriculture from a well, and little else. However, one thing stands out in my mind. When we got to the Chavakachcheri Resthouse, where we were to stay the night, the resthouse keeper asked whether we would like chicken curry for dinner. On getting the yes from my father, he proceeded to take a gun, went out to a thicket not far from the resthouse and shot a jungle fowl which was there. He cooked it as a curry for dinner.


Routes

There are two routes to Jaffna from Anuradhapura that one can use. One is from Anuradhapura via Medawachchiya-Vavunia-Kilinochchi- Elephant Pass to Jaffna. The alternate route is through Mannar. There are three routes along which you could approach Mannar. One is from Medawachchiya- Neeriyankulam and then Mannar. The second is from Nochchiyagama-Tantrimale –onto the Mannar-Medawachchiya road and on to Mannar. The third is from Puttalam-Eluwankulam- through the Wilpattu National Park- Silavathurai-Murunkan and Mannar. The shortest route to Mannar, from Colombo, is through Wilpattu.

From Mannar you take the new road to Pooneryn and across the newly constructed causeway direct to Jaffna. This road has been reconstructed recently though there are about two or three kilometers yet to be completed.

The road to Pooneryn runs, for about two or three kilometers, through the Madhu Road sanctuary and has a preponderance of Palu (Manilkaras hexandra) and Ironwood trees. The road is lined with these Palu trees and when I passed last week the Palu was in fruit. The villagers had cut some of the large branches and were offering the fruit for sale. The small yellow fruit is quite tasty, somewhat like the taste of Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota). Once plucked the fruit can be kept only for two days. When you eat this fruit, which is also a favourite of the sloth bear, your lips become sticky.

A new feature seen on the Jaffna – Pooneryn road are sign boards that show that you are leaving a particular town or village. The board has the name of the place in all three languages but has a white line diagonally across the board as shown in the picture.


Schools

We carried out a schools awareness programme in eight schools in the peninsula. The schools were Jaffna Hindu College, St John’s College, Jaffna Central College, Jaffna Hindu Ladies, Mahajana College & Union College (both in Tellippalai), Hartley College & Nelliady Central College (both in Nelliady). Our programme was designed to create an awareness on Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, the natural environment, pollution, wildlife, evolution etc. amongst the children. I was impressed by the dedication shown by the Principals and teachers of these schools, to keep to their task of giving their students an all round education in a conducive environment. Their enthusiasm to learn and the discipline of the students was exemplary. Most of these schools, especially those started by the Christian missionaries, have had strong traditions which the schools are striving to maintain.

Nilavarai Deep Well

The Nilavarai well located at Nawathkiri, on the Kankasenturai road, is a very deep well where the actual depth has not been ascertained, despite many attempts to do so. The local information is that the first 40 feet of the well is fresh water and further down turns saline. It is reputed that there is an underground tunnel which leads to the sea. Tourist brochures describe the well as ‘a beautiful natural well with an astonishing aquamarine colour. What there now is a dirty water hole, which is polluted and of no use to even bathe. However, the mystery of its depth and source of water continues. Some think that this well is connected to the ponds at Keerimalai.

The well

Jaffna Fort

The Jaffna Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1618, when they captured Jaffna. It was subsequently captured by the Dutch in 1658 after a three-month seige. The Dutch demolished the damaged and out of date square fort of the Portuguese and in its place built their ideal fortress. The Dutch added to the fort and made it bigger.

This is the only large military fort in the country. The Jaffna Fort, the second largest Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka, is located immediately south of Jaffna town, with the southern side bounded by the shallow waters of Jaffna lagoon, the inlet of the Indian Ocean that carves out the Jaffna Peninsula. There are five outlets to the sea from the Jaffna lagoon, the biggest being the one between Karainagar and Kayts.

The Dutch first built the inner pentagon, and the main gate here bears the date of 1680 and then in the following century enclosed it in a wider fortification of the same shape. This shape is not as obvious as three of the branches are not built because of the vicinity of the sea on these sides. The fort’s black coral-lined walls, ramparts and battlements stand high on the grass covered mound and are surrounded by a moat. The fort covers an area of 22 hectares, a beautiful setting and rightfully qualified as a Citadel (i.e. a large, independent, garrisoned, administrative and military centre without civil inhabitants).

The gate in the outer fortification bears the date of completion, 1792. On the 28th September 1795, only three years after its completion, the fort surrendered to the British without firing a single shot. The strength of this fort was then never actually tested by an attack until recently when the power of modern day weapons used in the civil war, proved its undoing.

The fort remained with the British till 1948 when independence was declared.


Fort Hammenheil.

This small fort stands, off Karainagar, on a rocky island at the entrance to Jaffna lagoon. The fort was constructed by the Portuguese in 1618 and takes up all the limited land of the island. The Portuguese named it Fortaleza do caes. The walls are made of large chunks of coral and bound by a mixture that also seemed to include burnt coral. This fort was in the north and the Mannar fort in the south and the two served to guard the passage, by water, to the Castle Fort at Jaffna.

This fort is built in an unusual circular design and has two internal levels. The fort stands on a small sand bank between the small islands of Karaitivu and Velanai (Kayts) and the sole navigation channel from the sea to the lagoon on which Jaffna stands.

This island fort was captured by the Dutch in March 1658. They changed its name to Hammenhiel. (heel of the ham). The shape of Sri Lanka reminded the Dutch of a leg of ham.

When the Dutch occupied this water-fort, they found that the sand bank on which it was built had been undermined by the storms of the North-East monsoon. They remedied this erosion by piling up a breakwater of stones.

A low vaulted gate-way not more than seven feet in height is the only entrance to this fort. The living quarters consist of three or four rooms in the courtyard. The vaults under the ramparts were doubtless used as a store rooms. The Dutch maintained a garrison of thirty men under the charge of a Lieutenant or Ensign on this spot, and the early Dutch Governors make very special mention in their memoirs that Hammenhiel must be carefully guarded "none but Dutch being stationed there".

One of the cells where the foreign invaders kept their prisoners was also used, by our security forces, during the 1971 JVP insurrection to keep leader Wijeweera locked up after his arrest.

The Sri Lanka Navy has now converted this fort to an up market hotel. The living quarter of the Portuguese and Dutch soldiers, four rooms in all, have now been converted to hotel rooms. The food and other facilities are on the mainland. The fort surrendered without resistance to the British in 1795 and in 1948 became the property of the independent government of Sri Lanka.

Nallur Kandaswami Kovil

Nallur Kandaswami Kovil, is located 3km from the town center. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan and was rebuilt in 1807 during the British occupation. The original shrine, a devalaya featuring the statues of Hindu Gods and Buddha, built by the Prince Sapumal of the Kotte Kingdom and the vice royal of Jaffna Peninsula, was destroyed by the Portuguese, on the 2nd of February 1625. To date at the Nallur Kandaswami Kovil, prayers are recited in the name of Prince Sapumal of Kotte.

The Nallur Kovil has been built four times. The first three being destroyed by invaders, with the third destroyed by the Portuguese. The fourth, the present temple, was constructed in 1749 A.D. during the Dutch era. The present temple is now in the premises of the original temple.

Today the Kovil has developed into an enormous complex encompassing numerous shrines accessed by richly decorated corridors. Within the complex are a beautiful courtyard and a large tank.


Miniature Dagobas at Kantharodai

Kantharodai, described as Kadurugoda Temple in the Sinhalese chronicles, is a 3rd century BC Buddhist site located about 10km north of the city of Jaffna, and closer to Chunnakam. Kantharodai consists of a cluster of twenty miniature dagobas, ranging in height from one to three meters. It is believed that each of the miniature dagobas has the remains of Buddhist monks enshrined therein. These dagabos are somewhat akin to the stupas at the Borabadhur temple in Indonesia.

Sir Paul Pieris who discovered the site in 1916 wrote that "Kantarodai appears to me to be a miniature Anuradhapura buried in the Tamil country". Some suggest that Kantharodai marks the spot where Buddha landed on his second visit to the island.

The finials of the stupas are made of limestone. A sacred footprint stone was also found on the site. This has been identified as the Kadurugoda Temple as mentioned in the Sinhala Chronicles, its history dating back to the third century BC. This site does not seem to be getting the attention, from the Department of Archaelogy, it deserves.

Point Pedro

The light house at the coastal village of

Point Pedro marks the northern most point of Sri Lanka and faces the Bay of Bengal. The name of the place is derived from the Portuguese Punta das Pedras which means Stony or Rocky Point. The distance across Sri Lanka from Dondra head in the south to Point Pedro is 435 kilometers. The breadth of Sri Lanka is 224 kilometers, this distance being calculated from Colombo to Sangaman Kanda in Komari, which is north of Pottuvil.

West of Point Pedro is the infamous coastal village of Velvettiturai, which for decades, had been a stronghold of the petty local smugglers and the landing point of illegal immigrants or ‘Kallathoni’s from South India.

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Tribute to C.R. de Silva, former Attorney General & Chairman, LLRC

Posted on 15 November 2013 by TSL

Tribute to C.R. de Silva By Sathy Liyanasuriya in the Daily Mirror

The untimely death of former Attorney General and Chairman of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) C. R. de Silva last week robbed the country of a distinguished legal luminary at a time when the legal profession is at a crossroad. Ironically, at the time de Silva passed away, human rights activists have descended on Sri Lanka because of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and many are demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC which he chaired. It is a measure of the man that these same activists rubbished the LLRC when it was first appointed several years ago, citing de Silva’s close personal friendship with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, believing that the Commission will merely rubber stamp the President’s agenda. That did not happen. The LLRC delivered a report to the government two years ago that was admired for its impartiality and western governments which were calling for a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka moderated their demand: they now wanted the LLRC recommendations implemented.

Such integrity has been the hallmark of Chitta Ranjan de Silva who, before he distinguished himself as a lawyer, was better known in a different arena: as a rugby player at Royal College where he captained his school to many laurels including the coveted Bradby Shield in 1968. That year, Royal College emerged as the champion schools rugby team. When a Ceylon Schools rugby team was announced, de Silva was an automatic choice to captain the team. Leaving school, de Silva entered the Sri Lanka Law College but his nickname at school, ‘Bulla’ stuck with him. De Silva was probably destined to be in the legal profession: his father Justice K.D. De Silva was a Judge of the Supreme Court. His two elder brothers are active practitioners in the civil courts in the country. He once said his father was the “perfect judge” but that he wouldn’t be good at that job. De Silva was called to the Bar in 1974. He worked in the chambers of the late Mr. A.C. ‘Bunty’ De Zoysa PC, and later worked in the chambers of Mr. Daya Perera PC. He had his own legal practice for two years before joining the Attorney General’s Department in 1976.

In 1984, he was promoted as a Senior State Counsel and was appointed Deputy Solicitor General in October 1992. He took silk as a President’s Counsel in February 1997, a few months after being appointed as an Additional Solicitor General in December 1996. De Silva prosecuted many cases that attracted a great deal of public attention. Among them were the Customs Chief Amarapala murder case, the Tony Martin murder trial, the Rita Manoharan trial-at-bar, Father Singarayer’s trial on terrorism charges and the Justice Sarath Ambepitiya murder case. As he rose through the ranks of the Attorney General’s Department, de Silva represented Sri Lanka in many international bilateral air traffic talks held in New Delhi, Australia, Greece and Sri Lanka, negotiating air traffic rights for the country. He has also been a member of Sri Lankan delegations to the Human Rights Committee of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. A versatile professional, de Silva also served as a lecturer and examiner at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and at the Sri Lanka Law College. He was a member of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and also served the Child Protection Authority and the Drugs Control Board. In the Attorney General’s Department, de Silva is best remembered for his work in the Criminal Division which he headed for ten years. It was a difficult time as terrorism related prosecutions and political pressures mounted but de Silva ensured that the Department rose to the challenge.

C. R. De Silva was appointed Attorney General by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was well known that they had a long and personal friendship dating back to their days at Law College, but no one claimed that the President was rewarding an old friend: De Silva was an obvious choice for the job. De Silva retired as Attorney General in 2009 and when then Chief Justice Sarath N Silva also retired shortly afterwards, there was speculation that he would be offered the top job in the judiciary. He wasn’t and he reverted to the private bar where his services were eagerly sought as a criminal lawyer. In 2010, President Rajapaksa appointed de Silva to head the LLRC. It was de Silva’s most challenging assignment yet as the international community, egged on by pro-Eelamist campaigners in western countries were demanding a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka and its leaders. " De Silva prosecuted many cases that attracted a great deal of public attention. Among them were the Customs Chief Amarapala murder case, the Tony Martin murder trial, the Rita Manoharan trial-at-bar, Father Singarayer’s trial on terrorism charges and the Justice Sarath Ambepitiya murder case " Pooh-poohed by the pundits, the LLRC set about its task diligently. Although some international agencies criticised its findings for what they claimed were its “failure to meet minimum international standards or offer protection to witnesses”, the LLRC’s recommendations were widely accepted.

Two years later, when the government chose to hastily impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, de Silva was enjoying a thriving legal practice. Faced with the prospect of replacing Chief Justice Bandaranayake, de Silva, much respected for his integrity, seemed the ideal choice. It is known that President Rajapaksa personally visited his old friend unannounced at his private residence and made the request. That de Silva politely declined the offer and President Rajapaksa’s acceptance of that is a reflection of the respect that de Silva commanded.

Towards the latter stages of his life, de Silva was avidly engaging in social service activities, promoting causes close to his heart and also contributing much of his time to his alma mater, Royal College where he was a livewire in the Royal College Union. C. R. “Bulla” de Silva will be remembered not only as an excellent lawyer but also as a man of character. His family, including his wife Kamalini who is the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, can take solace from the fact that his was a life that that was lived honestly and lived to the full.

NOTE FROM EDITOR, TIMES OF SRI LANKA – I had the pleasure of meeting C.R. de Silva a.k.a. "Bulla" in Toronto our of all places in his life. The meeting came in the shape of a visit by "Bulla", Rohan Jayatilleke (former DSG) who sadly passed away very young about 15-years back) and my good friend Dunstan Fernando from Chicago. Bulla and Rohan were in Chicago in the early 90s for Criminology Studies at the University of Chicago for a 9-month period. At the end of the program, Dunstan drove to Toronto from Chicago with the two young Deputy Solicitor General's – C.R. de Silva and Rohan Jayatilleke. All three stayed with me for a week and toured Toronto extensively and even attended the Josephian-Peterite Cricket Match in Toronto that was a bonus for them. I met "Bulla" many times after that in Colombo and even had dinner with him at his home and then at his cousin Chanaka de Silva's home. "Bulla" was a straight shooter who became a lawyer in the mid 70s and rose to the top first as Solicitor General and then as Attorney General. At the time of his death he was functioning as Chairman of LLRC and hand picked by his close friend and President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa. Not only did he lead Royal College to a Bradby Victory, he continued his association with his Alma Mater in later years. People like "Bulla" do not cross out path very often. Outstanding sportsman and brilliant lawyer – perfect gentleman who lived his life with dignity and decorum. May his Soul Rest in Peace!

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Sharm de Alwis writes of Fathers and Sons at Trinity

Posted on 02 September 2013 by TSL

 

The episodic adventures of sons following in the footsteps of their fathers are confined to sports and never academics.

Pride of place must be accorded to S. B. Madugalle of the first batch of five Lions in the year 1915. His sons, Percy, T. B. and Dharmasiri all played for Trinity with the last named captaining the 1953 team, whose line was never crossed and "even the leaden footed Unamboowe scored." Percy’s son Mahen captained Trinity hockey, but because of a ridiculous rule that two games could not clash in a season, he was not into rugby.

Then there were the three of five generations of Odayars. Grandfather S. A. captained Trinity cricket and athletics to win his cricket Lion and rugby Colours to set the stage for his son Uvais, who was the first recipient of the AHR Joseph Challenge Trophy for the Best All-Round sportsman of the Year. Odi took athletics and cricket in his stride, but rugby was his illicit lover. He missed a richly deserved Lion when he played as fullback in the all conquering team of David Frank in 1956.

Odi, himself is the father of two superlative sportsmen in Ickram [Double Lion in Boxing and Rugby] and Riza.

Three generations of the Bandaranayake clan played for Trinity. Grandfather Jinatissa captained Trinity cricket in 1919 and was followed by Ananda [Lion in cricket] who was in the crack teams of Mervyn Panditarane’s in 1952 and in Dharmasri Madugalle’s in 1953. It was here that he learned to unleash the demolishing tackles that were known as ‘Gal Banda Specials’. His son Rajiv was also awarded the rugby Lion and was the first Trinity inner-three to run the straight line to score a plethora of tries.

EDW Jayawardena, who despite having played for Royal in M. S. Ahammath’s team of 1933 which lost to Eddie Buultjen’s Trinitians 0-19, played magnificently for CR&FC and in 1937 for the Ceylonese in the heady company of AHA Samad and Percy de Silva. The Ceylonese team of 1938 in which he played is credited with having given the finest exhibition of rugby ever since the inauguration of the All-India Tournament.

As many as eight in the team were Trinitians, with three having cut their rugby teeth at Trinity, before they decamped to join St. Peter’s college, Colombo.

Having gone through on a statutory payment of five rupees per month, EDW decided he would give his two sons a wholesome education. When Noel Brohier was asked by the Principal to captain the team against the visiting schoolboys, Noel told the Principal, "I couldn’t do that, Sir, because Jayantha Jayawardena is senior to me." How’s that for guts and glory?

Jayantha captained Trinity in 1961 to win his rugby Lion and Prasanna, though he captained Trinity U-17 with possibly the best players in the division in Ajith Abeyaratne, Gamini Udugama, Manik de Silva, Jupana Jayawardena, Mark Sunderalingam, Gogi Tillekeratne, Isphan Omar, Glen Van Langenberg, Shafi Jainudeen and Alex Lazarus crocked his knee to be out of contention thereafter. It is on record that Prasanna is the only rugby captain to have tied his boots with ‘kohu lanu’.

Ugandian M. K. Kagwa’s son, Michael, was a versatile sportsman. He followed in the footsteps of his uncle E. S. Kagwa to win the rugby Lion, but the standard was so high that his father could not be awarded the Lion in any sport. Michael was the fastest bowler during his period with Tissa Kapukotuwa [RC] and KMT Perera of STC also in the fray. Michael was a fine pugilist and lost only to Chris de Saram, who later captained Oxford University.

Albert Halangoda, who went to the front in WW1, had two sons in Noel and Nihal. Noel was awarded his rugby Colours in 1947 and Nihal in 1960, when he played in the superlative team captained by Eric Roles which won the Bradby shield convincingly 5-3 and 8-0. Albert was in the first batch of five to have been awarded the rugby Lion.

Percy Maralande, who had been considered the ‘Lion of Lions’ for his prodigious deeds in cricket and rugby had in his son Nimal, one of the three finest Trinity stand-offs to have played for the country. The others were Mohan Sahayam and Glen Van Langenberg.

Philip Buultjens is thought to be the finest center the country has ever produced, even though he scored only three tries in his distinguished career, but made openings for others to score. His son Tony is also a rugger Lion of a similar mould.

Johnny Murray and his son Ken were spirited boys even away from the rugger field and many are the yarns told, especially of the junior Murray.

HTP Samarasekera and his brother HVP played rugby for Trinity in the ‘30s. HTP’s son Seevali, having won the 1st Leg of the Bradby 19-03, won the 2nd Leg by dint of personal epic deeds, when trailing by 12 points with 13 minutes to go for the final whistle. This performance did not earn Sam the rugby Lion as he reciprocated a punch by harassed rival captain Jagath Fernando, who had been subjected to merciless, suicidal tackle by Sam.

P. B. Madawela played in 1930 in the Trinity team captained by Burmese John Duncan, who were the first schoolboys to play for the National team. His team beat Royal 29-0. Son, Anura played in Ajith Abeyaratne’s second year of captaincy in 1968, which disastrously lost the 1st Leg of the Bradby 0-19, but made amends to lose the 2nd Leg courageously 3-5 to ‘Bulla’ de Silva’s Royalists.

Athletics Lion Harry Geddes, who had a finer reputation as a sprinter in Duncan White’s impregnable team, had in his sons Rodney and Ian splendid centers who played in MTM Zaruk’s team of 1965, which even though it was star-studded, somehow lost the Bradby shield 3-8, after holding Royal to a 6-6 draw in the 1st Leg.

Trinity’s first captain in the Bradby series was Robert Sourjah and his son Rohan was also a rugby captain in 1975 and Lion in the previous year. Second son Lanil played in 1977, ‘78 and ‘79.

SB Ellepola’s son Chula played in the Bradby shield winning team of Ravi Balasuriya in 1977 and Tikiri captained in 1980.

TB Pilapitiya must have been made of material used for building war tanks. He was as tough as they came. His son L. S. won his rugby Lion in Ravi Bandaranayake’s crack team which had five other Lions in Ravi himself, Ravi Ponnambalam, Byron Fernando, Roshan Ratwatte, Pradeep Adhihetty and his brother Dilip. Ashan Ratwatte and T. Hasanally were awarded their Lion in subsequent years.

Two of Denis Ratwatte’s sons, Roshan and Ashan were awarded the rugby Lion and the third to play Trinity rugby was Dilackshan. Ashan’s son Tharinda, is presently in the Trinity team.

Vice captain to Dharmasiri Madugalle in 1953 was Rajah ‘Dabbar’ Adhihetty, whose two sons Pradeep and Dilip are rugby Lions.

The line is long and I am weary. The other father/son combinations have been Maurice Perera/Devapriya [both coached Trinity]; Jinna Dias Desinghe/Kumar; Gamini Weerasinghe[first straight Lion/Manik; Rihal Madugalle/Dammika; Theekshana Madugalle/Rajeeva; Kavinda Ellepola/Kishan; MTM Zaruk/MTM [Jnr]; Sunil Wickramasinghe/Sharika; Mohan Ganapathy/Rajiv; Mmalin Goonetilleka/Himesh; Tharik Omar/Idris; Namal Gamage/Pulasthi; Ravi Balasuriya/Rahal; Janaka Kirindena/R.Kiridena and Isphan Omar/Haris.

"The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on."

I rest my pen.


 

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Nimal Maralande – a true sportsman

Posted on 24 August 2013 by TSL


Nimal Maralande the famous Trinity College, Kandy and Sri Lanka ruggerite and cricketer. He made his school Trinity, Kandy, his home town Kurunegala, Colombo and Sri Lanka proud in the field of rugger and cricket. He was a classy fly half, of the calibre of Archibald Perera, Ago Paiva, Mohan Sahayam, Glen Vanlangenberg, Irwin Howie, Frank Hubert, Omar Sheriff, today there is a fly-half of his calibre Kandy Sports Club's Fazil Marija.

Nimal first played rugger for his school in 1956 under the guidance of late Col. Bertie Dias, and the leadership of D.N. Frank, that year Trinity College was rated as the best school team. His team mates were Ken de Joodt, M.V. Boteju, A.J.W. Balthazar, Franklyn Jacob, R.J. de Silva, G. Weerasinghe, U. Atanayake, J. Dias de Singhe, Uvais Odayar, R.N. de Alwis, S.P de Silva, A.S.B. Ellepola, Mike de Alwis., that year they won both the Bradby 'legs', 15-0 and 11-0.

In the following year, 1957, Trinity won both 'legs' again 8-0 and 9-8.

In 1958, again it was under the captaincy of Ken de Joodt. That year Royal won the first leg 6-0 and the 'second leg' ended in a nil-all draw. Maralande was able to get only the rugger colours in 1956 along with Mike de Alwis, R.N. De Alwis, S.P. De Sylva, A.S.B. Ettipola, A.R. Frank and Uvais Odayar.

'Lions' reigned from 1952-57: Trinity had greats like late Nimal Maralande, Denzil Kobbekaduwe, Kavan Rambukwelle, (who passed away recently) Rudra Rajasingham (who still makes a trek to watch a game), Ajith Abeyratne, Brig. Jupana Jayawardena etc.

Maralande left school at the end of the first term in 1959, and along with his good friend D.C. Abeyratne went for practices at CR and FC that was due to his father's request, A.P. Maralande, who led Trinity cricket in 1921 like his son won colours at cricket. A.P., was able to lead the cricket team for three years 1920, in 1921 and 1922 and won the cricket lion in 1920.

Both Nimal and D.C Abeyaratne were not happy with the set up at CR & FC, and these two were refused to use the bar facilities and they left the club in couple of days and joined Havelock Sports Club, which Club he led in 1965. Nimal was also in the committee for a long spell and President in 1976 and 1977 later was a honorary life member.

Nimal played for the All Ceylon Barbarians in 1959 against the Combined Oxford/Cambridge, then for All Ceylon in the All-India tournament in 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963 as a captain and 1964, he led the country before his club. In 1964 he played for the country against the British Joint Forces XV, led the low-Country in their annual game against Up-Country and Defence Services. He was famous for his long kicks and up-and-unders. He played as a fly-half.

Nimal was also a fine cricketer during his school days. It was at cricket he did well at the start, but rugger 'robbed' him and while at school he was a classy cricketer, if he had played serious cricket like rugger, he would have been a top Sri Lanka cricketer.

He won the bowling prize in 1956, Fielding in 1957 and batting in 1958. He won his cricket colours in 1955 with A.S.B. Ellepola, G. Koelmeyer and Uvais Odayar and the 'Lion' in 1959 along with Malsiri Kurukulasooriya, W.S. de Chickera. Maralande led the Central Province Schools and the Combined Schools team. While in Colombo, played for NCC in the premier tournament.

While at school, Maralande was in tennis too, where Trinity played tennis as a club. Then later Trinity in nineteen fifties sent teams to participate in the Public Schools meets in Colombo and the school authorities relented to the extent that Tennis colours were awarded to three players who did well at these meets.

In 1957, 58 and 59 Nimal was also a Prefect. He also won the A.H.R. Joseph Challenge Cup in 1958 presented to all round excellence in sports at Trinity. Nimal's forte was team spirit and in rugby whenever he got the ball, he never made it for himself, he sent the ball down the line. Even in cricket he was a team man.

Nimal is no more, but still sportsmen talk about his gentleman like qualities on the sports field.

Born on September 17, 1940 and assassinated at Araly Point Kayts, Jaffna on August 8, 1992 Lt. Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa was the scrum half and skipper of the Trinity College Rugby XV in 1959.

Another salient feature is that he paired off with fly half- the late Nimal Maralande in both 1957 and 1958 both under Ken De Joodt. Maralande was one of the ten Trinitians who had the distinction of leading Sri Lanka, which was in 1964. The fly half in the year his captained Trinity was Jayantissa Ratwatte who was later on the main Board of premier blue chip John Keells Holdings Ltd.

 

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Kavan Rambukwella was a fine Trinity College product

Posted on 28 July 2013 by TSL

 

A moment to remember of the most prolific rugby stalwart in yester years is Kavan Rambukwella who died on 13th of February 2002. He was one of the finest center-three-quarters Trinity College produced and the country has seen. He played for the Trinitiains from 1950 to 1952. In 1950 he played under S.S. Bambaradeniya, and rest of the team mates were A.I.J. Madugalle, D. Ratwatte, R.W.Tucker, H.L. Fernando, S.A. Bertie Dias, V.Wijeratne, L. R. Pilimatalawa, Lakshman Jayakody, M.S. Panditharatne, J. Shanmuganathan, B.Spledewinde, G. Tenakoon, J. Weerasekara, S.S. Bambaradeniya.

That year Trinity won the first leg of the Bradby by 6 points to nil at Bogambara and the second leg they won 5-3 at the Race Course.

Trinity lost both games in 1951 under Mervyn Panditharatne 3-19 and 5-13 while in 1952 also with Panditharatne as Captain Trinity won 6 nil and 12 nil. Rambukwella won his rugger colours in 1950 along with Lakshman Jayakody, A.T.J. Madugalle, C. Shanmuganathan, B.O. Spledewinde, J.G.G. Tenakoon and J.Weerasekara, and the coveted Rugby Lion in 1951.

Kavan was a top class athlete as well and led the school team in 1950 and 1951. Whilst at school, he was invited by Kandy sports Club, but joined his favourite club CR and FC and captained the side in 1960/1961, played an exclusive role both as a rugger player and administrator later. he also played for the Low Country and All-Ceylon.

Rambukwella was President of the CR & FC and Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union. He helped the CR & FC rugby in a big way, and also made valuable contributions to improve rugby at Police SC, from 1968 to 1972. During that time as the coach, Police rugby achieved excellence.

In 1968 Police team was promoted to "A" Division in Inter-club rugby league tournament, In 1970 and 1971 Police shared the Clifford Cup. Police was the outright winners of the Clifford Cup in the year 1972 all this was due to the major contribution by Kavan. Due to his devoted contribution and good work, late DIG Daya Jayasundara and DIG Nimal Lewke suggested to donate a trophy through the Police Department for the great services the Police Rugby obtained the trophy in his name for the best Outstation Team at Police Inter Division Rugby Tournament as an encouragement to boost outstation rugby.

Before coaching Police, Rambukwella helped Thurstan College in 1962 when Raj Weerasekara led Thurstan College.

Rambukwella was a huge 'live wire' for the Trinity College – Old Boys Association Colombo Branch for a very long time advising the young and old of how to get things moving traditionally with emphasis on the code of conduct by all Trinitians, even before passed away.

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