Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

CHOGM 2013 Opening Ceremony


This is the third time I have been privileged to attend an Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.  As well as the formal speeches, and parading of heads of state, these occasions provide a fascinating opportunity to see how a country wishes to present itself, and I hope that the images below capture something of the essence of the opening ceremony just held in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankans certainly put on a beautiful pageant, and there were thousands of young dancers lining the streets – they must have been exhausted by the time the ceremony was over!

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Wildlife at Yala, Sri Lanka


A short holiday in Sri Lanka has enabled us to visit the wonderful Yala Nature Reserve covering some 98,000 hectares in the south-east corner of the country.  A seven hour drive from Colombo on Saturday has meant that we can spend a relaxed Sunday exploring the Park, and chilling out by the sea!  Yala is renowned for its elephants, leopards, deer, wild boar, buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys, jackals, sloth bears and some 135 species of birds.  Setting off at six this morning, we saw most of these – apart from the sloth bear!  We were amazingly fortunate to see a leopard keeping a watchful eye on a group of deer drinking from a pond, just too far away for it to pounce on them!

The photos below show just some of the rich diversity of wildlife to be found in this peaceful haven – definitely worth visiting for anyone who is coming to Sri Lanka!

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Buddhist monuments at Anuradhapura


At the end of the Asia-Africa regulatory conference in Colombo, our hosts took us on a tour to the ancient capital of Anuradhapura in the central north of Sri Lanka.  It has an impressive collection of Buddhist monuments, spread over an area of some 16 square miles.  King Pandukanhaya made Anuradhapura his capital in the 4th century BC, and the organised plan of the city with its complex water systems suggests that it may have been designed according to a master plan. Under King Devanampiya Tissa, who ruled from 307 to 267 BC, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka, and subsequently numerous dagobas (or stupas), as well as monastic buildings and pokunas (tanks for bathing or drinking water) were constructed.  A selection of images from the city – including birds, monkeys and a snake charmer – are in the slide show below.  Thanks to Anusha Palpita for his generous hospitality in enabling this ‘adventure’.

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Sri Lankan dancing at the Africa-Asia Regulatory Conference


Every evening of the first Africa-Asia regulatory conference hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and organised jointly with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation we were entertained by different groups of dancers and musicians who shared something of the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.  I hope that the images below capture something of the beauty of Sri Lankan dancing.

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