Topless "Na" trees of Kotte
A tree is one of the most beautiful gifts that mother nature has given to man. Song writers have dedicated songs about the beauty of a tree, while poets too have devoted their time to stress the beauty of this natural gift, through their poem.
Yet it is sad to see that we Sri Lankans are fast becoming enemies of trees. We cut them down at random. We depleted our beautiful jungles of all the best and valuable trees to enrich ourselves and finally brought on ourselves a weather pattern that is adverse to us.
The best example starring at the face of our law makers is what is going on in Parliament Road. We first planted "kohomba" trees which did not survive probably due to adverse soil conditions. All of them died and the dead trees offered a fine place for crows to build their nests as if in competition..
Then someone who is a little more national minded decided to plant "Na" trees, being the national tree. The "Na" trees took up favorably to the environment and the soil type. Most of these Na trees and growing well to add to the beauty of this road.
Sadly a few days ago I noticed that on one side some Na trees had gone topless. For an engineer who once imposed a fine on another engineer working in Kantalai for unnecessarily cutting down a tree my heart broke to see this sad sight. The damage is now irreparable.
The rapists have come from the CEB instructed by some anti-environment elements to cut off the tops of these beautiful trees to save the power lines. So now we have on one side the "Na" trees and on the other side some "No" trees. Sadly these topless trees were also illuminated during the festive season further exposing their nudity.
It is not only the "Na" trees that suffer this fate. In fact all trees on this route where the power lines exist have been raped by the CEB.
There is one prominent tree which has no top but only two branches that have been spared. They are protruding on to the roadway. This reminds me of the beggars who stretch their hands every time we stop at traffic lights. In fact this tree is also begging from the passing motorists for someone to see the damage done to it. Isnt this a shame for a country that claims a high degree of literacy and environmentalists too?
Over to you Sirs, our good Minister for Power and Energy and the good Minister for Environment.
Eng. Anton Nanayakkara
Consultant Civil Engineer
More onIn the name of Buddha
The film In the Name of Buddha currently screened in London and Oslo, whoever produced it, is reported to be blasphemous of Buddhism. An atrocity of this nature would have inflamed riots and slaughter, and theatres would have been burnt down, if it happened to Islam, Christianity or Hinduism. But, Buddhism is different.
A Buddhist is of much higher mental elevation not to be aroused or provoked by mundane works like that, because neither the Buddha nor the Dhamma could ever be attacked or condemned. They stand the test of time like a rock and emerge unscathed because it is the ultimate truth and could not its spiritual and philosophical foundation be shaken.
In the name of Islam millions of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists have been killed. In the name of Christianity millions of Muslims and fellow Christians have been killed. In the name of Hinduism millions of Muslims and Buddhists have been killed. That is history. No Buddhist has ever killed in the name of religion. That is Buddhism. No violence or arms cannot suppress the truth and truth remains the truth for ever.
It is natural for an wanderling to take up arms. All of us are wanderlings, whatever the race or religion to which we belong. In Sri Lanka, how many Buddhist temples were destroyed and Buddhist monks were killed in the name of Thamil Eelam? If religion bears vested interests, that religion whatever it is, could cause murder and mayhem. If religion foments violence and war, under whatever pretext, what can we expect from that religion, at least in this life?
E. M. G. Edirisinghe
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