Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 10 April 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sports for a healthy life

Sport is a great asset to us. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is an old saying, which highlights the value of sport.

Sport includes a number of outdoor and indoor games such as hockey, football, cricket and rugby. It is an interesting form of exercise. Sport helps us maintain good health. Children who are not engaged in sports will have problems in maintaining a balanced lifestyle. To ensure good health and for the development of the body, sport is very useful.

Sports play a major role in creating a well-disciplined person. In sports there are several rules which a player has to obey. Team spirit is needed when engaging in sports. It is very important to present a united front against the opponent. Instead of quarrelling or abusing co-players, a true sportsman should forgive the opponent when mistakes or accidents happen. It helps to develop the good qualities of a person.

Unlike people who do not engage in any kind of sport, those who do, learn how to accept victory and defeat with grace.

It is very important to deal with victory and defeat equally because unpleasant incidents in a field may create bad impressions among the spectators as well as the opponents. This could even be a black mark for the prestige of the team and even the country one represents.

Sport is combined with day-to-day life as it also helps to develop social values in people. Sport is a great way of building good physical, mental and even spiritual qualities. It is a great source of encouragement to all of us for the betterment of our future.

Nature’s spectacular and hazardous phenomenon

The eruption of volcanoes can be considered as one of nature’s most hazardous but spectacular activities. The word volcano comes from vulcanus, the name of the ancient Roman God of Fire.

There are different kinds of volcanoes depending on how lava - a hot liquid which comes out through a volcano, is expelled. The volcanoes are located in only certain parts of the Earth which is called “the belt of volcanoes.”

Volcanoes are the only places where we can access the materials from the interior of the crust or the mantel of the Earth. So, they are of great interest to science.

By sprewing ash or lava far into the sky, a volcano becomes active. Lava contains many gases which are dissolved in the magma because of the tremendous pressure.

However, when they reach the surface, they escape just like the bubbles of a carbonated drink when the bottle is opened. When the lava rises quickly, the gases escape with great force and the eruption becomes very violent, scattering rocks and ash across the surface and sending smoke thousands of miles into the air.

As a result of such eruptions, many airlines cancel flights. Even train services have to be cancelled because of the haze and build up of ash in the sky and on the train tracks. Sometimes people have to be evacuated too from these areas.

Recently, Mount Kirishma in Japan and Mayon Volcano in the Philippines, two of the most active volcanoes, erupted violently, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave from the so-called “Danger Zone” of five miles around the foothills of the volcanoes. Because of the danger posed by volcanoes, the Meterological Agencies in and around the “belt of volcanoes” always keep an eye on the volcanic activities in the area so that they could monitor the eruptions of volcanoes and evacuate people in time.

A tribute to my Alma Mater

Fifth anniversary celebrations

For the past five years -

You educated and nurtured us,

You gave us shelter and knowledge.

On the eighth day of February

We all celebrated your fifth


Our dear teachers and colleagues,

Were delighted and happy.

We commemorated the day,

With joy and happiness

How lucky we are -

To be in your arms.

With religious activities,

You may get the blessings,

We cherish the happy memories.

And we pay tribute to everybody,

Especially the former teachers

and principals

Today, let me wish you success,

In the years to come.

The king of beasts

Lions are powerful carnivorous hunters. They once roamed in Africa, Southern Europe and parts of Asia. Today their primary habitats are in Africa, with a few still living in the Gir Forest of India.

A lion can run at a top speed of 36-50 miles an hour, but not for long. It uses its powerful forelegs to grab large prey that would otherwise outrun it.

When a lion walks its heels do not touch the ground. It waits until the coolest, darkest times to hunt.Fully grown adult males can weigh between 150 and 250 kg. Lions like to doze most of the time. They remain inactive for up to 20 hours a day.

Lions cannot roar until they reach the age of two. Lions roar loudly and also snarl when angry or when challenging an enemy. The roar of the lion can be heard from a distance of about five miles. They are probably the most famous members of the cat family. The male is known as the "King of Beasts" because of his royal appearance and bearing. The male's strength, beauty, and power also makes him a royal beast.

Lions have long been killed in rituals of bravery, as hunting trophies and for their medicinal and magical powers. In ancient times, many communities thought lions to be magical creatures and worshipped them as "Gods".

Lions usually live in groups, called prides. There can be up to 40 members in a pride, with over half of them being cubs and young adults.

I'm a tree in Peradeniya Gardens

I am very pleased to appease the needs of humans as well as animals who visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. I think I am very fortunate to be born in this garden, I do not want anyone to blame me. One thing I know is that most people admire me. About hundred people come to see me on a single day.

They make use of my shade and then go away. However, before they leave my shade, some have the habit of writing their names on me. "My dear friends, when you carve your names on me, you harm me. I do not want to know your names. But I certainly want to know the names of all the people who do not hurt me. I invite them over and over again to my shade. Because they are real nature lovers".

Early in the morning, birds come and sit on my hands. They sing beautiful songs endlessly. Sometimes it bothers me.

But, how could I chase them away? Because their songs are the only pleasure I get in my entire life. The gardeners look after me very well. They are like my parents. However, they hang a plaque on my body displaying my scientific and botanical name. They use a nail to fix the plaque. Alas! what pain it brings me. I think that they do not know that it hurts me and how I am being patient during this entire operation.

In general, I am satisfied with the life I spend. Because, compared to my life, the trees grown in rural forests live very miserable lives. They have to sacrifice their lives to make cupboards, chairs and tables. As they cannot oppose the human authority, they fall victim to them, silently.

I get my food, water and fertiliser on time. So, dear friends grow more trees and give your full support to protect us. It is only then that you will be able to have a prosperous future. We are your life because we give you oxygen.

An autobiography of an elephant

I was born in a jungle. Of all the animals on land, I am the biggest and strongest. I enjoy a great deal of freedom in the jungle where I fear none and harm none. I consume a great amount of leaves and my favourite food is the 'kitul' bark.

Untill I was seven years old I led a wild and free life with my companions in the herd. Then the turning point in my life came. A tame elephant entered the jungle and led me to a sugarcane plantation.

I was foolish enough to believe him and follow him. I did not know that he was an elephant who was trained to lure wild elephants into a trap. While following him, I suddenly fell into a large pit which had been carefully covered with leaves so that innocent elephants like me could be caught. I was left in that pit, all alone, for about nine days.

I had nothing to eat. I grew terribly weak. If I had remained there in that condition for two or three days longer, I would have starved to death. On the tenth day, with great difficulty I was taken out of the pit and moved into a town.

I was gradually trained and tamed. I felt frightened and angry, after a short period of time I understood that there was no use feeling so. I was now with someone who was my master.

So, I trained myself to get used to him. Fortunately, my master treats me with great kindness. He never neglects to meet my needs. I too helped him in varied ways, such as by carrying timber and other heavy loads. He sometimes lends me to other people. Once I was given to a king to participate in a State procession. I was trained hard for two to three days.

I never wanted to participate in it, but later on I found it interesting and even felt proud on the day of that procession. I was painted with gorgeous colours and covered with a very rich looking velvet cloth.

I looked very attractive. More over, I got a chance to meet my companions who were following me. I was so delighted. Everyone was staring at me in great wonder. With the king on my back, I walked with an air of majesty.

Even though I have to live a life in captivity, I am not at all unhappy now. I have learnt many things by living with humans.

My master takes care to make me feel comfortable. However, not all my friends are so lucky. I would like to give some advice to those who hunt us and harm us. We, elephants mind our own business and live in peace. If man too can mind his own business and let us live in our own habitat what a nice place the jungle would be.

Then all wild animals could lead a carefree life and be happy. The world belongs to us too.


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