Archive for March, 2008

e-Village Pilots on an overseas tour

With the intention of promoting the use of IT in the rural areas
of the country Of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with
the Presidential Secretariat launched a pilot e-Village Programme,
‘Secondary Education Modernization Project II’ (SEMP II), and
funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The programme comprising many activities was, initially launched
in the Sabaragamuwa, Uva, Central, Wayaba and Southern provinces.

They are arivan to the  India. 
 In order to further enhance the quality of project outputs, the
managers of the five pilot projects have been given the opportunity
to attend a workshop held in Baramathi, India.

img_0405.jpg img_0402.jpg
Baramathi Institiut in India.
The workshop on ICT and Development that commenced on the23rd
March will conclude on the 26th.

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In the conforance.
It is expected that the experience gained from this exposure will
enable the managers acquire skills that can contribute to the extension
 and expansion of the services provided to the beneficiaries through the
respective projects. The knowledge gained will also help in ensuring the
future sustainability of the projects.


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A visit from above……..

Visiting the first e-Village of the Sabaragamuwa Province in Dahamana,
Balangoda, were the project officials from SEMP II and the Education Dept.
of the Sabaragamuwa Province.  
Those who came on an inspection tour on 18thMarch included Mr Nimal
Herath-SEMP II Project, Prof. W. G. Kularatne- National Productivity
Secretariat, Mr Gunatilake- Provincial Education Office and Mr  W. Jayasinghe
-Director, Balangoda Zonal Education Office.
Appreci ating the work done so far, gave necessary instructions and suggestions
 on ways to further expand and improve the services provided by the centre.

Receiving and welcoming the Officials

Mr. Nihal Herath inspecting the activities at the Centre

Visiters inspecting the computer e-village activities

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The Scouts and Girl guilde activities of Damahana Maha Vidyalaya

The scout team.

The scouts and girl guide companies in Damahana Vidyalaya is an excellent co-curricular activity.
 These two companies have a long history.
First the scouts company was started by Mr. M.P. Abayasiri, on 20th October 1978. At the same
time his sister Miss. M.P. Piyaseeli started the First girls guide company.
Since then, camps, explorations, tours, shramadana campaigns, hikes, training camps and even img_0232.jpg
jamborees have been held on regular basis.
After becoming the principal, Mr. Abayasiri devoted more of his spare time for improving the scout
movement. In 2000, he was appointed the district commissioner.
After his retirement Mr. Lalith Kumaratunge succeeded him as the Scouts master and continues to
serve in that capacity.

     Getting their training
With his guidance a three-day camp was held at Hambegamuwa, from 26th-28th July 2006.
A mutual fun camp for both, scouts and girl guides, was held on 22nd March 2006.
img_0225.jpgMr. Lalith is devotes his time to improve the talents of the boys by conducting art competitions, hikes,
excursions, dramas and various  tours among other things. The students gain valuable experience and
life skills through these activities.

Mri Lalith kumarathunga co-ordinater

At present the girl guides company is led by Miss. M.M. Somalatha. She has served in this capacity
since the 26thFebruary 2006. A three-day camp was held for the guides, in this school, from 26th to
28th March 2006.
These girl guides participated in a district camp held at Gatangama Vidyalaya, Ratnapura, from 30th
March to April 2007.
At present, both, the scouts and the girl guides in the school, conduct their activities in a complementary
 and mutually beneficial manner.


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A community venture through Dahamana MV

img_0099.jpg   Dahamana gains some historical significance by virtue of the fact that it belongs to the region where the
 world famous primitive ‘Balangoda Man’,  better known as ‘Balangoda Manawaya’ was discovered.
 Mahawalathnna plateau and thin village is situated in delightful are.
  Some say that thousand monks were ordained at one and the same time thus giving the village its name

There are two ways to approach the village. One is via the Ratnapura-Balangoda-Kirimelithnna route.
The other is through Ratnapura-Pallebcdda and Weligcpala.

Traveling through the village, one cannot fail to notice the beautiful paddy field right in the heart of the

img_0095.jpg   Like the early bird that gets the worm, if lucky enough, you will see the farmers in their span cloth and
 mammorty on shoulders setting off to their fields. 
  To fulfill the educational needs of the children in the area and to enlighten their knowledge, Damahana
  Maha Vidyalaya serves as a model learning center.
The standard of education is always in a high position with extra curricular activities also taking place in
various ways. Among them scouting and girl guiding takes prominence.
img_0061.jpg   Breaking new ground and keeping pace with modern technological advances in the world, a new to in
 computer learning center has been opened under the Secondary Education modernization project of the
 Ministry of Education. This project has been an impetus in providing the community- children and adults
 alike- the opportunity to improve their computer skills and English knowledge.
  By widening this series under the concept of e–village, a website was launched to provide
information about our village, not only to the island, but also to the whole world.


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Dahamana Maha Vidyalaya: How It All Began……


     At a time when the village lacked a school to serve the needs of the children, the village leaders led by Rev.
  Panane Wimalawansa thero, gave leadership to a move to accomplish this task.

  Overcoming many difficulties the initiative was taken to build a school in Dahamana a few miles from
  Balangoda town on a plot of land donated by W.A. Punchi Mahathmaya.

  When the school officially commenced on February 24, 1949 it only had a cadjan hut, but today a good
  mix of old and modern buildings blend together to add glamour and splendour to the School. 

  In its 57th year of function the school now serves not only the children of Dahamana but also those
  from neighbouring villages.

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Panan Kanda mountain

A seen of panan kanda.

‘Pannan Kanda’ is a mountain which is situated at the village of Mawela in Balangoda area in Rathnapura districtin Sri Lanka.It is around by divisions of Galgodagama, Iluk kumbura, Panana, Gavaranhena, Velange and Mawela. It is located
 above the village of Panana. Because of that reason it is named as Panan Kanda. In addition it is called ‘Kalu Kalle’
and ‘Hela Uda kalle’.

A beautiful water spring from Panan kanda.
 This mountain gives births to many water springs. This area is nurtured by the branches of the Walawe River such as
Nadola Kadura, Nayini Ela, Kuda Oya and Deliniara.
Many kinds of animals can be seen in this area such as deer, monkey, moose, wild pig, and there are also jungle fowl,
haban kukula, hawk, owl, parrot, hornbill and paradise fly catcher and mynah in it. Many endemic and non endemic
trees can be seen in this area such as fesciculatum, thudarana, fambu, keena, and hora. As a result of the caves,   It is
very complicated to cross through this forest.
In 2007, it has conserved by the wild conserving of department. As a result of it, the effects of the destroyers have been
regularly decreased and it helps to firm the protection of the forest. We must protect the natural forests as the Panan
Kanda and it is our responsibility.                    

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The Ceylon Tea

Ceylon tea is famous the world over.It is the most important of our cash crops, the other two being Rubber and Coconut.
Tea cultivation was started by Europeans towards the latter part of the nineteenth century when the coffee plantations were
 ruined by the coffee pest.Ever since these planters changed over to tea, it has grown in importance.Today it is our greatest
industry and makes up sixty per cent of our exports, bringing to the country, in 1953,an income of Rs,825,090,178.A dangerous
 pest appeared on a number of Tea estates in 1946 and caused great anxiety among the planters, but they were able to bring it
under control.
                                                                Most of our tea is grown at a height of over two thousand feet and the best Ceylon tea
comes from the slopes of our central hills round about Nuwara Eliya, where the cold nights and the strong winds make for the slow
 growth of the tea bush and the excellent flavour of the leaf.Tea is also cultivated in the low-country,but such tea has not the same
 flavour as “high grown” Tea a cup of tea with good flavour is a delightful drink, but in most of our homes we have not this pleasure
for many reasons, and this is indeed a  pity.
                                                                     Have you ever been to an up-country tea estate?if not, you should visit one, and learn
 something of the industry that brings the greatest income to your country.In long,unending rows, spaced at regular intervals,you will
see the tea bushes like a huge army of fat green dwarts. They are kept at a convenient height of about three feet by regular pruning
which also enables tender shoots to appear. Every morning at six o’ clock labourers attend the “muster’’and go out in the cold mist
 to pluck the tea leaves. They pluck only two tender leaves and a bud from each shoot and put them into large baskets which they
carry slung behind their backs. A conductor or a “kangany” supervises their work. When the plucking is over, they take the green
 leaves to the factory, a huge storeyed building, where the tea maker and his staff turn this green tea into the black tea which we use.
A hundred punds of green tea leaves give us 20 to 25 pounds of manufactured tea.
    Let us how tea is made. The green leaves are frist spread evenly on long racks or “lofts” and left to dry. This slight drying is called
“withering”. Next they are “rolled” by a special machine. The leaves now change colour and give out their familiar smell. They are
then left in a room to ferment. This makes them change colour further and gives them  their flavour. They have to pass through one
 more process before they are ready for export, and that is “firing”. The leaves pass through hot air machines which take away all
their moisture. They now turn fully black. They are then sifted into different grades according to the size of the leaf. The finest grade
 is called F.B.O.P{Flowery broken orange pekoe}.The finished tea is finally packed in chests and sent to Colombo for shipment.
 Ceylon’s chief customer is the United Kingdom.

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A Community Hall for Dahamana

Damahana is a rural village in Balangoda in the Ratnapura district in Sri Lanka.
With the establishment of the e-Village project in Dahamana, the
community has begun to see the value and importance of modern
technology and its impact on development.

img_0180.jpg The project has had it’s beginnings in the Dahamana Maha Vidyalaya.
But now it has expanded and grown, thus creating a need for a bigger place.
Simultaneously, the village had a long felt need for a common meeting place
where all its public and social functions could be held.
With these intentions, the community on its own initiative collected funds to
 embark on the project to build a community hall.

img_0128.jpgSo the youth in the area took the initiative to build a hall with the co-operation
of the whole village. Within a short period of time they erected the columns for
the ground floor,
 costing nearly two hundred thousand rupees. Each family contributed either
in cash and/or labour to achieve this task. The land, a five-perch block, for
the hall was donated by a businessman.

The building, once completed will have two stories comprising of a main
auditorium, lecture halls and library. With nearly 20% of the work completed.
The community is in need of your support to see their dream fulfilled. 


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The Water-Springs of Imbulamura

dvc00319.jpgImbulamura is situated in the Ratnapura district in the Balangoda division.
This village is very prosperous and self-sufficient in agriculture. The springs,
 nature’s gift to the area, is an asset to the village. As a result, when compared
with her neighbours, Imbulamura stands out as a very special place.

The water of the springs is warmer than normal water. This water has plenty of
 minerals causing it to be very brackish and unpalatable. Yet, it is not harmful
for human consumption. People use this water for drinking as well as agricultural

img.jpgThis warm mineral water comes with high pressure through the cracks on the
surface of the earth. We can see it like white bubbles. During the rainy and dry
season the water level remains the same.

It is believed that in ancient times that there was only one large spring in the village.
 According to belief, water used to gush out causing conches (type of sea snail) to
appear with it. These conches had destroyed the paddy. As a result helpless farmers
 had faced many difficulties.

dvc00330.jpgSo the villagers, wanting to stop the spring took large piles of clay and used elephants
 to ram it into the large spring causing the springs to disappear. But as a result of that
several springs have resurfaced in different locations like Imbulamura, Agalekumbura
and Gadakumbura. As a result of that the farmers were able to cultivate their crops once

The water running down from these springs has joined to form the beautifully cascading
 ‘Diyawini Elle’ water fall.


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