It’s Wednesday in the peaceful island we know and love so well where blood ivory may end up in Buddhist temples ????

Am not sure how many of you have read Asterix but if you have you will remember the opening line in each of Goscinny& Uderzo s beloved books was “Another day dawns in the peaceful little village we know and love so well”.

I feel like that sometimes when I see somewhere in my mind’s eye the sunlight filtering through the palm trees and lighting up the lawn at my parent’s home by the sea, the river coming to life in Bolgoda, the tank at Minneriya calm and quiet save for the splash of early fishermen who offered us a lift home back to our Rest House last year and yes, this year, the paddy fields of Kurunegala and the acres of vegetable gardens with guinea fowl and rooster, goat and chickens, dogs and cows beginning a new day is well… paradise-like and I know we have a legacy of nature unparalleled over there with some beautiful hearts and minds that I could never replace in my lifetime.

However, Sunela’s post on blood ivory  is also an issue facing Sri Lanka. Even though the slaughter was of African elephants Sunela raises the question that such practices are not only against Ahimsa but also would encourage similar atrocities in Sri Lanka. A buddhist country they say well I prefer to say a country blessed with many religions and amongst them the supreme influence of Buddhism. Surely, this tragedy needs the attention of the highest in the land and we shall await further writings on any possible steps or solutions provided by the State.

Sunela Jayawardene don’t give up. There are a few experts like you in Sri Lanka who can speak out so keep the heat on for a positive resolution.
Magazine-Cover_Blood-Ivory

“This illegal shipment is the result of the cruel slaughter of 179 African elephants. Ivory poachers shoot the adults and young animals in an elephant

herd, and hack off the tusks. The babies are left to starve. Soaked in the blood of elephants that died in agony, the tusks are known as blood ivory.

To place blood ivory for veneration in temples that extoll the greatest philosophy of ahimsa, is sacrilegious, and will taint the noble cause and name of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, especially because of the global attention that blood ivory has received.
A recent article in National Geographic Magazine [October 2012] highlighted the horror of blood ivory. As you know, the National Geographic Society has given Sri Lanka excellent reviews as one of the world’s top destinations, but the adverse publicity if this ivory is distributed to temples will surely tarnish this image.”

 

 

Dev Wijewardane: An awesome photoessay on the Pantanal, Brazil

Toucan

 

Go directly to the Gallery for an exhibition of Dev Wijewardane’s incredible Pantanal photoessay. Scroll down for the iSrilankan interview with Dev.

If the Pantanal is the Mecca of wildlife tourism in Brazil, there are a few prophecies and wise practices we could learn from in protecting our own wildlife-tourism and habitat sustainability experience in Sri Lanka. Dev Wijewardane the disciple who took off on a pilgrimage comes from a family tradition of wildlife enthusiasts who actually learn about the ways of nature and wildlife and have been taught at the toddling stages of wildlife-spotting how man and nature should treat each other.
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The yet-undiscovered wilderness of Wasgamuwa and its ancient battlefield

 

RIAZ CADER

 
Right in the foothills of the Knuckles Ranges, south of Polonnaruwa and North of Matale in a remote corner of Sri Lanka lies Wasgamuwa, one of Sri Lanka’s least explored national parks. It was my first visit to Wasgamuwa since January 2008, second overall and I was very eager to see what I could encounter this time around. I was accompanied by Reza Ghany, Rinosh Nasar, Dilanka Jinadasa and Sashini Abeygunawardene who undertook this trip with me on the long Vesak weekend this May.
[Read more…]

Image of the Week



RIAZ CADER : Mugger Crocodile among the Lily pads in Wasgamuwa
Riaz Cader is Assistant Manager – Nature & Community Projects at Jetwing Hotels and on and off-the-job continues to visit Sri Lanka’s wild places to pursue his passion of wildlife photography. Riaz is a self-trained photographer and uses a Canon EOS 7D body predominantly with a Canon 100-400mmL series lens for wildlife images along with a Canon 24-105mm L series lens and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lenses for landscapes and portraits.

Riaz Cader can be found on facebook and  flickr 

Kalpitiya: April is showtime for Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins

 

RIAZ CADER

 

Kalpitiya is the hot spot for dolphins right now. Here Spinner Dolphins are encountered on almost a daily basis often in pods of a thousand or more. Spinners are very social and are often seen leaping and doing full body spins out of the water in spectacular aerial displays. The dolphins are seen predominantly in-shore of the reef in shallow waters.

When you venture out further West approximately seven nautical miles from the land and travel along on a North-South axis for a chance to encounter sperm whales. The continental shelf is the point at which there is a steep increase in the ocean depth from around 100 metres to over a 1000 metres in a very short distance. [Read more…]

Day Five with Riaz Cader

Day Five with RIAZ CADER: Under the direction of Gehan de Silva Wijeyratne,I got the opportunity to work on a number of wildlife-based publications, join him on field excursions, network with prominent wildlife personalities and journalists and over time get involved in marketing Sri Lanka as one of the world’s top destinations for wildlife viewing. [Read more…]

Day Four with Riaz Cader

Day Four with RIAZ CADER: By late May 2009, the bitterly fought civil war had finally come to an end bringing peace to our island home for the first time in my lifetime. After nearly seven years in Melbourne I was now getting terribly homesick, stuck in a career which I didn’t seem to fit into and yearning to head back home. I was especially curious to see what living in peacetime Sri Lanka was gonna be like.

In October, my fate took a twist when I lost my job due to the global financial downturn and after some soul searching the choice was quite obvious. By December, I headed back home to Sri Lanka for good and was soon on the job hunt. My initial aim was to get into the finance sector where I could hopefully utilize enough leave and use my weekends and spare time to do as much wildlife photography as possible. [Read more…]

Day Three with Riaz Cader

Day Three with RIAZ CADER : It seemed like the natural thing to do, completing the Uni degree and staying on in Melbourne where I worked as an Auditor at a mid-tier accounting firm. I didn’t mind the long hours, however the city-based lifestyle, the mundane nature of work to be undertaken and having to study for accounting exams during my spare time were soon taking its toll on me. [Read more…]

Day Two with Riaz Cader

 
Day Two with RIAZ CADER: In 2004, I left to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city and went to University of  Melbourne and did a  Bachelor of Commerce  Degree, majoring in Accounting. Leaving home behind,  I was able to make a new start in life, discover and make new friends while immersing myself in a new culture . The first few years just flew by…

In January 2005, I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon 300D with a zoom lens and used some of the semester breaks to explore Australia and with my obsession for wildlife; inevitably I visited a number of wilderness areas: The Wannon and Grampians National Park in North-west Victoria was where I first glimpsed Eastern-grey Kangaroos and Koala in the wild; Flinders Ranges bordering the outback and Kangaroo Island in South Australia were some of the most interesting places I have ever travelled to.

Returning home on holiday, I made sure that there was an outing to Uda Walawe or Yala National Park which was planned in advance.  During my spare time, I read books and explored websites on photography to improve my technical skills and practiced at every opportunity I got.

By around 2007, I was beginning to see a vast improvement in my images, however I still had a long way to go…

Catch up on Introduction and Day One with Riaz Cader.


Riaz Cader is Assistant Manager – Nature & Community Projects at Jetwing Hotels and on and off-the-job continues to visit Sri Lanka’s wild places to pursue his passion of wildlife photography. Riaz is a self-trained photographer and uses a Canon EOS 7D body predominantly with a Canon 100-400mmL series lens for wildlife images along with a Canon 24-105mm L series lens and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lenses for landscapes and portraits.

Riaz Cader can be found on facebook and  flickr 

Day One with Riaz Cader

Day One with RIAZ CADER : Born and raised in Colombo, I was always interested and fascinated by wildlife as long as I can remember. As a child, I had an enviable collection of toy animals and children’s publications on wildlife, outings to zoos and safari parks both in Sri Lanka and overseas. [Read more…]