Friday, October 23, 2015

Beauty and the Beast (of our Rivers)

When I planned this book I wanted to be comprehensive, scientific and exploratory but events and the time it took made me to change my initiative, just like river takes its course through difficult parts as falls and meander through the plains and winding up with or without a delta to the ocean bed.
I think I have accomplished only the toddler milestones and never grew up beyond that point.
Such is the vastness of the rivers that span out from the hill country.
It is an amazingly beautiful country where no two places look alike, even though, we have divided it to natural zones called wet zone, dry zone and arid zones.
The mountain range has an extra beauty and none of the mountains is beyond man’s exploration.
The waterfalls are my fascination.
One can gaze at them for hours on end, in a meditative trance.
Each one is different from the other.
Yet we tend to be imprisoned in big cities with skyscrapers.
Why I do not know?
Why pipe borne water if we can drink it from a pristine source.
I have been obsessed and appalled by the shear neglect of our natural resources.
We dump all our refuse to the streams around us and then at a lower point have a water purification plant.
We have denuded our forest that is necessary for regeneration of the rivers at its source.
We have deprived our poor elephants a place to live and driving them almost to extinction.
Our ground water is polluted with pesticides and heavy metals and we go to world health organization for help for kidney diseases.
It is the WHO which polluted this country with DDT in the first instance.
Then the plunder of the virgin forest (to grow hashish) and introduction of bizarre array of poisonous chemicals was taken over by the Ministers of Agriculture without proper scientific knowledge.
Our engineers brought some semblance of sanity but the Mega project are poorly maintained.
We need to protect our rivers, if not one by one they will dry out and disappear.
A New Dubai is possible and is currently been shaped up and designed by corrupt individuals with no heart or brain both inside and outside of politics.
In my belief within next the 50 years with global warming taking its toll most of the rivers will run dry.

Glimpse of Rivers and Waterfalls of Sri-Lanka

Writing about Sri-Lankan rivers is a colossal task.
It takes years of devotion and scientific inquiry.
I am not sure why I delved into this, since I knew it is not a task a single person can do alone, especially one being not a specialist in the subject, to begin with.
Probably, our ancient irrigation history has a bearing, especially the last stage of the Kandyan Kingdom, for me to dig in a bit of forgotten history of ours.
The Dumbara Valley is one of the most beautiful places one can visit. I was fortunate to have visited this valley when things were neglected and the people were poor and in remote places with bear minimum to survive.This fact, is still the same in some of these places and they are very infrequently visited by our public servants (teachers in particular) and politicians come only during pre-election campaign.
In my early bachelor days, I had the company of my engineer friends doing hard work to prove, what was considered to be an impossible (30 year program) program and bring into its successful completion from surveying to planning to construction.
Its name is Accelerated Mahaweli Program.
Sure they did it and were the pride of this country.
They were a dedicated lot.
None of them are now here in this country. They were poorly paid and had the talent far exceeding what was paid to them when they were young.
Surly they were bought up by the rich countries.
If any of them read this, first of all “hats off to them”.
If any of them visit here on holidays, I request them to visit those sites they were part of it. They are currently very poorly maintained under politicians who do not have even 8th grade pass.
The farmers are poorly looked after and the water management is a subject of sale to multinationals. It has been hushed up and then put under the carpet, till the heat dies down.
I want them to revisit the past and make contributions for the future sustenance of these Mega Projects.
They also should visit the spectacular waterfalls and ancient tanks and relax with the mind that they had kept the genetic link alive with our ancient civilization.
In the meantime Suriyawewa is a cricket ground and people in the north have no water for drinking leave alone for cultivation. The project was biased towards a segment of the people and another segment was neglected.
In this book brief survey of the project was made. That was not the intention anyway. While the development were focused on few major rivers others were totally neglected and people do sand mining and gemming and do lot of harm not seen centuries ago.
So I take the reader in a narrative glimpse to make him feel part of the civilization based on water gods and water cutting ceremonies.
A foreign reader might not only see the plight of our neglected majestic elephants but also the urge to become a visitor not once but several times and witness the shear natural beauty.

My Budget Tune

My Budget Tune

Goda Nathiwa Ge Palui Goda

Kala Natuwa Ge Palui Rosa

Baga Nathwa Ge Palui Rosa

Soda Nathiwa Ge Palui Soda

Salli Nathiwa Ge Palui Mama (Finance Minister)

Chun Nathwa Ge Palui Baba (Prime Minister)

Rosa-Ta Denna Bambu-Wakuth Ne Pappe Puppe (Head of State)

Rosa Nathiwa Ge Palui Rosa

Rosa Nathiwa Ge Palui Rosa