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Picture by: Rtr. Jehan Gamalathge, Rotaract Club of Panadura

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Picture by: Rtr. Jehan Gamalathge, Rotaract Club of Panadura

Panadura is a town in the Western Coast of Sri Lanka, south of Colombo. It is situated in the Kalutara District. Panadura is home to over 100,000 citizens and it is an emerging commercial town adjoining to the Colombo District with new facilities and infrastructure. The town was initially mostly a residential area which is now steadily becoming a commercial and merchant attraction due to the rapid development which takes place in the country and Panadura being one of the key access points to the Southern Expressway.

Panadura is rich with historic and cultural values. Panadura is a home to a majority of Sinahala Buddhists but also has a good blend of other religions and ethnicities as well. It is famous for the great debate in 1862 which is known as ‘The Panadura Debate which was the climax of the first phase of the Buddhist revivalist movement which began with the establishment of the Society for the Propagation of Buddhism at Kotahena and the establishment of the Lankopakara Press in Galle.

Picture by: Poornima Perera, Rotaract Shutterbug Participant

The fisheries sector plays a key role in Sri Lanka’s social and economic life. Fish products are an important source of animal protein for the population and the sector contributes about 2 percent to GDP. The fisheries sector of Sri Lanka consists of three main subsectors, namely coastal; offshore and deep sea; and inland and aquaculture. These three subsectors employ around 250 000 active fishers and another 100,000 in support services. This workforce represents a population of some one million people.

On 26 December 2004, the fisheries sector was severely affected by tsunami tidal waves that hit two-thirds of the coastline of the island. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of active fishers were affected and more than 75 percent of the fishing fleet was destroyed or damaged by the tsunami. In addition, a large number of small-scale fishing craft and fishing gear were destroyed. Of the 12 fishing harbours, 10 were severely damaged, including breakwaters, shore facilities, buildings, machinery and equipment. In addition, public and private utilities, such as ice plants, landing ports, markets and the homes of the fishing community were destroyed.

Traditionally, fishing has been inshore using simple canoes with outriggers and, despite development efforts spanning over 50 years, this type of boat still makes up nearly half of the fleet. Some 2 percent of fishing boats are canoes powered by outboard motors, and a further 3 percent are beach seine craft without motors. Larger, motorized “day boats” were introduced in the mid-1950s and consist of two types of craft: 18-foot flat-bottomed fibreglass reinforced plastic boats with outboard motors, and FRP motorized boats. In the early 1980s, 59 ft motorized multi-day boats were introduced.

The picture depicts the fisherman resting in the harbor during the day time after the fish has been unloaded and taken away by the merchants.

Picture by: Dylan Seedin, Rotaract Shutterbug Trainee

Despite the fact that the country has been engaged in a 3 decade long conflict that ended only recently, Sri Lanka has made significant economic and social progress over the past 30 years. Economic growth has been rapid. In the past three decades, the country has made significant progress in improving living conditions and access to basic services.

The great majority of the population lives in rural areas, though the country is rapidly urbanizing. Almost a quarter of Sri Lankans live below the poverty line. Four fifths of the country’s poor people live in the rural sector, and almost half of the poor rural population consists of small-scale farmers. They are concentrated in the Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces, where agricultural growth has been sluggish, as well as in areas affected by the conflict.

Most rural roads have originated and used as footpaths or cart tracks. Hence there is a need to redesign selected rural roads to cater to the developing needs of Sri Lanka and rehabilitate them to provide better connectivity to rural areas. Improved transport infrastructure will enhance communication facilities and improve economic and social standard of the people. The Government started the Maga Neguma program to widen and concrete rural roads which had earlier confined to the main road network.

However, the fundamental question is – with all these developments will the beauty surrounding these rural roads remain the same? This picture taken of a road leading to a rural village in Batticaloa is in the verge of changing in to a concrete road.

Picture by: Kandeepa Ilankovan, Rotaract Shutterbug Trainee

Batticaloa is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on a flat coastal plain boarded by the Indian Ocean in the east occupies the central part of the eastern Sri Lanka. Its average elevation is around 5 meters. Scenic beauty of the Batticaloa is the Lagoons. Batticaloa district has three lagoons such as Batticaloa Lagoon, Valaichchenai Lagoon, and Vakari (Panichchankerni) Lagoon. Among these lagoon, Batticaloa Lagoon is the largest lagoon and has 56 km long 162 square km area, extending from Pankudaweli in North and Kalmunai in South.

There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island, Bone Island Many bridges are built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands. The Puliayantheevu is the metropolitan place of the city. The biggest bridge of all is Lady Manning bridge located at Kallady, which is the main access path to the city from the southern places of the district. This bridge is also famous for Singing fishes which was considered musical sounds heard in the Kallady lagoon in the full moon day. A priest named Father Lang recorded this musical charm and broadcast it in the 1960s over the (Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation).

Rice and coconuts are the two staples of the district, and steamers trading round the island call regularly at the port. The lagoon is famous for its “singing fish,” supposed to be shell-fish which give forth musical notes. The district has a remnant of Veddahs or wild men of the wood. Prior to the Sri Lankan civil war, there were large scale shrimp farms as well as fish and rice processing activities. Batticaloa shows a huge potential for tourism related industries.

Picture by: Kandeepa Ilankovan, Rotaract Shutterbug Trainee

Batticaloa is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on a flat coastal plain boarded by the Indian Ocean in the east occupies the central part of the eastern Sri Lanka. Its average elevation is around 5 meters. Scenic beauty of the Batticaloa is the Lagoons. Batticaloa district has three lagoons such as Batticaloa Lagoon, Valaichchenai Lagoon, and Vakari (Panichchankerni) Lagoon. Among these lagoon, Batticaloa Lagoon is the largest lagoon and has 56 km long 162 square km area, extending from Pankudaweli in North and Kalmunai in South.

There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island, Bone Island Many bridges are built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands.

Picture by: Kandeepa Ilankovan, Rotaract Shutterbug Trainee

Batticaloa is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on a flat coastal plain boarded by the Indian Ocean in the east occupies the central part of the eastern Sri Lanka. Its average elevation is around 5 meters. Scenic beauty of the Batticaloa is the Lagoons. Batticaloa district has three lagoons such as Batticaloa Lagoon, Valaichchenai Lagoon, and Vakari (Panichchankerni) Lagoon. Among these lagoon, Batticaloa Lagoon is the largest lagoon and has 56 km long 162 square km area, extending from Pankudaweli in North and Kalmunai in South.

There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island, Bone Island Many bridges are built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands. The Puliayantheevu is the metropolitan place of the city. The biggest bridge of all is Lady Manning bridge located at Kallady, which is the main access path to the city from the southern places of the district. This bridge is also famous for Singing fishes which was considered musical sounds heard in the Kallady lagoon in the full moon day. A priest named Father Lang recorded this musical charm and broadcast it in the 1960s over the (Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation).

Batticaloa beaches are sandy and located along 4 km shoreline in the city and further extend through the neighboring places. Kallady beach, the popular serene beachfront where large numbers of people gather in the city. Also Batticaloa such as the heavenly beaches of Pasikudah and Kalkudah have rarely been molested. Pasikudah is a bay protected from the ocean. The significance of Pasikudah is that its bed is flat and sandy and has a pleasant effect on the feet. This can be experienced up to nearly 150 to 200 meters from the shore. Pasikudah is an ideal location for those who wish to learn swimming. Pasikudah is in perfect harmony with its stunning natural setting on the island’s eastern tip. With its atmosphere of rarefied tranquility, it is a place for relaxation and renewal.