18 May, 2022


Another Piece Of Insurance From A Familiar Buyer!

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I just had, from a friend who has a sterling record in the matter of ecological concern, an email informing me of the plans that are afoot to open a major highway into Kandy city through an irreplaceable little piece of truly beautiful forest – Udawattakelle Sanctuary.

There aren’t too many urban settings that could boast of such as this wonderful little forest with its little lake surrounded by giants of the jungle.

As someone who spent his entire youth in a school immediately adjacent to this sylvan setting, I have always had wonderful memories of it even though I was not among those who ran along its footpaths during Trinity College’s annual cross-country competition!

Udawattakelle has been reduced in size over the years by urban encroachment of one description or another, but what is proposed will certainly constitute the final tolling of that particular bell.

I understand that some years ago, there was a similar initiative launched and a man I consider one of the privileges of life to have called a friend, that great pillar of Kandy society, Dr. Nihal Karunaratne, spearheaded the opposition to that bit of potential desecration and, with the aid of the President of Sri Lanka at the time, J. R. Jayewardene, spiked the guns of those promising the destruction of this last little bit of forest within the Kandy Municipality.

Udawattakelle Sanctuary - Photo courtesy Daily FT

Udawattakelle Sanctuary – Photo courtesy Daily FT

The recent initiative has been advertised as having the avid support of Minister Lakshman Kiriella who has already given ample evidence of his readiness to buy insurance from those who his government claimed to have pledged to prosecute and castigate: those who were well on their way to destroying the fabric, both moral and financial, of this country.

As background, I am compelled to provide some information that some of the readers might not be aware of. It is one of the Central Province’s less well kept secrets that the Nilanga Dela Bandara who achieved the position of Diyawadane Nilame (DN) “exerting influence” of a financial nature to ensure the electoral college responsible for choosing the DN picked him, had made it very clear that the road that passed close to the Dalada Maligawa (and, coincidentally I am sure!) Mr. Dela Bandara’s official residence would not be re-opened even long after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s truly dastardly effort to destroy it by one of their typical suicide bomb attacks and when there wasn’t the chance of the proverbial snowball in hell of anything similar happening. In this he had the unstinting support of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President at the time, who certainly would not do anything to displease one of his sycophants (Apey Minissu). Not pandering to one’s sycophants was something that no self-respecting Rajapaksa would ever indulge in, after all! In fact Mr. Dela Bandara Junior was particularly well looked after by Mr. Rajapaksa Senior and Mr. Dela Bandara Senior didn’t do too badly for himself either, being the recipient of a not-inconsiderable contract for massive road construction in the north no sooner the war was over, long before it became evident that this was the favoured route to unbelievable riches for the fortunate few. This was followed by a sinecure in the form of appointment as Sri Lanka’s primary diplomatic representative in the Maldives. Due to obvious constraints of space, I am not able to document, at greater length, the complete litany of the benefits that have accrued to the Dela Bandara clan during the Rajapaksa Reign. Mr. Dela Bandara, DN, had no intention of letting the peace and quiet of his mini-palace be disturbed by a road that was closed purely and simply as a consequence of an act of terrorism that had no chance of ever being repeated. That heinous crime and the consequent closing off of a primary entry point into Kandy proved to be another of those instances of the fates working in strange and mysterious ways. Mr Dela Bandara was not going to let some silly thing like reducing the the highest pollution level of any city in Sri Lanka stand in the way of so much as a miniscule threat to his pristine peace!

Every study of Kandy’s horrendous congestion and its even more horrendous pollution[1] has recommended the re-opening of the road skirting, at some distance, Mr. Dela Bandara’s official residence. With the assistance of Mr. Rajapaksa and the Mahanayake of Asgiriya, this was prevented. Incidentally, the Mahanayake of Malwatte, sadly no more among us, went on record supporting the re-opening of this road for the very simple reason that it would was in the public interest because it would have significantly reduced the traffic gridlock which has become part of the Kandy reality at any and every time of the day and reduce a deadly health hazard that cannot be combatted by any other means.

Now, with the active support of the Hon. Lakshman Kiriella who has already given ample evidence of his readiness to cosy up to those who were part of the Rajapaksa Regime, a road is to be slashed through Udawattakelle which is unlikely to make any serious impact on the situation created by the closure of the road that had been closed purely and simply for reasons that cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be considered likely to repeat themselves.

What is least surprising about this whole sordid business is who is leading the charge in our Yahapalanaya Government for this act of desecration. However, if Ranil Wickremesinghe and the rest of the UNP entourage couldn’t see the significance of some of Mr. Kiriella’s previous purchases of insurance in the event that the Rajapaksas and their Kandyan allies returned to power, they certainly should now. Or is this yet another instance of our current rulers applying their collective telescope to a collective Nelsonian eye? In fact, it appears that increasingly, rather than resort to the removal of the beams that obscure their vision, they simply pick at the motes in the eyes of those who are, in fact, acting in support of the principles they espoused when they first galloped in on their white steeds to rescue us from the hell that the Rajapaksas were throwing us into!

It’s bad enough sucking up to those who might return to power and performing various gyrations on their behalf, but coupling such behavior with the desecration of a national treasure certainly should not go unpunished. (Kandyan) blood might be thicker than water but even in that communalistic enterprise, Mr.K is skating on pretty thin ice because the Dela Bandara’s hail from Sabaragamuwa, rather than Kandy and its environs! Oh well, as they used to say, any port in a storm, though, in this instance it seems to be in anticipation of some kind of coming political one!

This is simply sleazy behavior and, at least, in this instance, considering that there is no proof (yet) of some other senior UNP functionary being complicit in the deed, the government should, despite its increasing commitment to some version of sleazy “realpolitik,” be able to divest itself of this man who will, undoubtedly, do even more damage to what people still think – present company included – could be a basically reformist government, devoid of the crass opportunism of the Rajapaksas.

God forbid that we should be in for more of the “same old, same old!”


[1] When last Kandy’s pollution level was measured – more than three years ago – it was THREE TIMES AS HIGH AS COLOMBO’S!

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Ali Baba was taken out.. But the 40 thieves have grown to almost 80.

    It took nearly 80 minutes to Peradeniya from Maligawa the other day.

    Just imagine a poor heart attack victim trying to to get to a Hospital.

    Lucky Poorten is in Scarborough..

    The current pathetic lot, in fact 80 of them are trying every which way to keep their lurks and perks and couldn’t give a fig about the poor rural masses.

    All UDA and RDA work have been stopped and thousands of poor rural youth who were working in these major organizations have been sent home for good or made to sleep at their desks until they get bored shitless and leave on their own.

    The gentle whom Poorten mentions, will do anything to occupy his current position and the privileges which were denied to them for well over 20 years.

    Not only the 30 year Bond Mahendran but his mentor the honourable PM Ranil is also missing nowadays.

    I haven’t seen the latter on ITN or even Sirasa for the last 3 weeks.

    The latter’s cousin , the ageing Whisky Madam got booed big time, in Pollonnaruwara, the other day.not by the old Bat Gottas but her own Blue Bala Sena..

    Yahapalanaya is firing on all cylinders.

    And the rumour is all Army owned and operated Hospitality establishments in the North and the East will be sold to Diaspora dudes soon,at bargain basement prices,

    Or should I say mates’ Rates..

    • 3

      K.A Sumanasekera ,

      “”Yahapalanaya is firing on all cylinders. And the rumour is all Army owned and operated Hospitality establishments in the North and the East will be sold to Diaspora dudes soon,at bargain basement prices,””
      for Sumane: Another piece of Copying to Greatness._ No to Ghettos.

      THE Housing Development Board (Singapore) ALSO HAS

      Ninety percent 90% of Singaporeans own their own homes today,
      and more than 80% live in government-built residential units.

      The newsreel also shows a related exhibit, with Yew in attendance, displaying Singapore’s next round of ambitions in tiny model form. “This is how the new Singapore will look,” the narrator tells us on the same year the city was expelled from Malaysia. “Multistory blocks of apartment houses, commercial houses, restaurants, hotels, theaters, shopping centers, and markets. Roads planned so that traffic can flow smoothly even when the number of cars and lorries has increased fourfold.”

      Fatal race riots took place once again later that decade, and the HDB determined in 1966 that 250,000 people were still living in squatter settlements in city limits—plus 300,000 in the suburbs. In 1968, Lee introduced a new measure that allowed those living in public housing to tap into their government pensions to buy their residences. According to Statistics Singapore, 90 percent of Singaporeans own their own homes today and more than 80 percent live in government-built residential units.
      The HDB also has an Ethnic Integration Policy that prevents racial enclaves from forming through the resale of public housing units.
      Language alone won’t do but how you live- will you do an 83 act to Jaffna once sold?? and get back to Colombo to do it again- it’s all in how much you can gain- terror/policing is lethal and profitable.
      Watch the Yankees export their wares of human rights.
      Granddad Sureshbhai Patel
      Attacked on February 6 2015 and left partially paralysed
      South Carolina police officer who shot fleeing black man
      ‘looked like he was trying to kill a deer in the woods’

      Michael Slager, a South Carolina policeman, has been charged with murder after killing Walter Scott as he ran away, but the father of the dead man say that the case would have been “swept under the rug” without bystander’s video

    • 2

      “”The current pathetic lot, in fact 80 of them are trying every which way to keep their lurks and perks and couldn’t give a fig about the poor rural masses.””

      K.A Sumanasekera,

      Try a cable transport for ambulance service with paramedics- who is going to pay but the rich of course- stuff their gas importing cars. these are solar energy driven or alternative- ask Boris Johnson who practiced it at the Olympics to the cheer of the Chinese admirers.

      The best cable car in the world? Mayor Boris Johnson hails new tourist attraction as Daily Mirror takes a ride on the high side.Every 30 seconds passengers can board one of the 34 cabins which leave from Greenwich Peninsula or the Royal Dock.Journeys cost £4.30 per single trip and £2.20 for children between five and 15 falling to £3.20 and £1.60 for Oyster users with a ‘frequent flyer’ ticket at £16 for ten trips.

      Make it long from the hill with several Hop In Hop Outs.- One ticket mechanical drive to hell Galle. Return is velly velly expensive.


    • 2

      “”All UDA and RDA work have been stopped and thousands of poor rural youth who were working in these major organizations have been sent home for good or made to sleep at their desks until they get bored shitless and leave on their own.””

      K.A Sumanasekera ,

      skipped the link for:

      The cabins can carry 2,500 people, cyclists and wheelchair users a day,
      the same as 30 buses.

      He said: “It is worth every penny. I want to thank Emirates who came up with a very sizeable wodge of dosh.

      “I want to thank the Brussels Commission who instead of spending their money on a Greek bailout came up with a handy £8million which means we have virtually covered our costs.

      “The cable cars link up two great parts of London going through huge transformation.

      “It will be as good as a bus route and is a simply beautiful way to travel.”

      High winds or tall ships will be all that stands in the way of success, and you need not worry if it breaks down as there is a case holding water and food hidden under one of the seats.

    • 8

      I see you and your incomprehensibilities are back! Did pick a couple of things out of what you are trying to say though: that I continue to live in Scarborough (Ontario?) and the not-thinly-veiled threat of what awaits me if/when your patrons return to power.
      Do you honestly think that repeating, ad infinitum, the blatant fabrication that I live or have ever lived in Scarborough makes it the truth? Not even the man you obviously worship, Joseph Goebbels, would have been so persistent and, as for the threat to my person, why don’t you drop by my abode and give it a go? Could provide you with directions, though your mentors already have all of that on record.
      Now that your funding appears to have been restored, may I, again and for the umpteenth time, implore you to hire an “English tuition teacher?”

      • 4

        Emil, this guy is another incarnation of that bankrupt bum-sucker living down-under, who was hoping for an appointment in the former administration’s main rag (which he once edited). His ‘contributions’ to CT continue to pander to the criminals who were in power but he doesn’t seem to get it that his efforts are in vain, in spite of the insulting responses he gets. He has quite a few pseudonyms – all of whose contents are equally racist in tenor.

        He is another example of a so-called ‘patriot’ who has opted to live in another country and preach to us who actually love the country and continue to live here in spite of the political scum who want to feather their nests at the expense of the country.

        • 3

          While I do hear those who keep saying that responding to people like Sumanaskera is unproductive, I agree completely with your opinion and believe that to let the utterances of scum like that go unchallenged is to give it some (even tiny) degree of credibility that is does not deserve.

          • 0

            Gigurawa and Gurawa are a couple of other pseudonyms used by this tireless racist, as you could probably tell from the gist of his puerile attempts at character assassination at anyone who criticizes his criminal idols and his adulation of the latter. His style (in spite of his attempts to disguise his rubbish) is, as you probably recognized, unmistakable.

  • 9

    Kiriella has been consistent in his inconsistencies – from his pronouncements of the Colombo Port City to other banal utterances on TV. With ‘stalwarts’ like these in the administration, one wonders where we are going!

    The attempted destruction of Uduwattekelle should be stopped immediately in the interests of, not just the folk in Kandy, of us all.

  • 12

    Open the road in front of the Maligawa.

    Let’s see the whether the priests are more concerned about them selves or the welfare of the ordinary people

  • 7

    It says a lot about our current Nahapalanaya administration that foreigners have to campaign against moves to desecrate Udawatta Kelle!

    Kiriell’s deeds of a past life during which he transferred acres of governent land to the names of family members is the stuff legends are made of. The solution lies in getting these non-elected rogues out of power as early as possible.

    Maduluwawe Sobhita and Cham-paka Ranawaka should be obliged to take to the streets to reverse this calamity they brought upon the nation.

    Pooten and other foreign forces with vested interests will have to face the music after the “Choura Rajina” and her corterie get out of power.

  • 8

    Yes, ignore the Mahanayakes and open the road in front of the Maligawa.

    It is time we let the clergy do their jobs and allow the rest of us live our lives comfortably.

    I read the other day that the so-called Siyam Nikaya of which Asgiriya and Malwatte are parts of came into being in the 1750’s, and was the result of a Thai monks’ efforts. It is NOT Siyam it should read SIAM as in Thailand’s ancient name.

    So much for my limited knowledge of Buddhist history. I have since wondered what happened within the 2500 years of history we all blindly claim? Anyone care to contribute some facts?

    Apologies to Emil for digressing.

    • 6

      22 It is NOT Siyam it should read SIAM as in Thailand’s ancient name.22

      Oh yes and don’t say pallayan `vacuum it` but `Hoover it` or the rich Dyson it.

      Wandering rabble–rouser, Upul and his weasel words- is the new virus of old darts that never got a spot on.

  • 11

    To avoid this catastrophe is simply to open the road that was there before. The Malwatte High priest had agreed but not the Asgiriya Prelate. Obviously Asgiriya Prelate has no concern for public welfare. Imagine otherwise wasting Public funds running in to millions of Rupees spent on his health at 85 years seeking treatment overseas? Honestly it beats me why Buddhist Priests try to prolong their journey of Samsara, subjecting themselves to open heart surgery etc. without meeting the inevitable according to the Buddhist Philosophy. Today the man is to be accorded a funeral, something that even Lord Buddha was not accorded. This man was one who bum sucked MR then and today MR will try to make Political capital out of his death but will be in vain. Knowing what MR will try to do the Govt will also try to overdo with the Moda Upasakayas in the country. These Upasakayas both Male and Female are the bane of this society. The sooner this breed is extinct will benifit the country.

  • 6

    Kirella’s fancy proposal will result in the total destruction of the only piece of lung which purifies air in Kandy which is three times more polluted than Colombo. This is also not a solution to this problem of traffic congestion. Is the Diyawadana Nilame (DN) ruling this country? Late Asgiriye Mahanayake was the stumbling block to reopen this road. DN was certainly influencing the mahanayake to keep this road closed. President Maithreepala promised to reopen this road to Kandy professionals during his election campaign and he has also turned deaf and blind now to this request. It is the curse of people living in Kandy to suffer this way with traffic congestion and air pollution. There have been many letters written about the need to reopen this road. They have all fallen in deaf ears. Kiriella does not have an ounce of brain to realize the grave injustice and the sufferings on the people of Kandy. What the president should realize is that if he opens this road even now he will have thousands applauding him but will keep only one man unhappy.

  • 10

    “”With the assistance of Mr. Rajapaksa and the Mahanayake of Asgiriya, this was prevented.”
    ” at some distance, Mr. Dela Bandara’s official residence. “”

    Just buy his house and the surrounding for a price he cannot refuse and run a food city for the road to open once again than dabble in `balding forest`

    There are competent first in world Dutch horticulturist companies, who would be glad to invest as they are simply the best for the agro country. They are the bumble bees of the world that give plenty of fruits and nuts to the American world.

    FDI at it’s best than `Smelly Pin Cushions` dictating to the people what they were not elected for.
    The Buddhist monk who assisted in the bombing is happy and watching the ceiling at London- nice retreat after the bomb thanks to Jaffna solicitors who made a killing of tax payers funds.

  • 3

    While agreeing wholeheartedly with his comments on the rascal Dela Bandara, I am surprised that Emil has by mistake killed off the Malwatta Mahanayaka who had a very reasonable approach to opening the road adjoining the Maligawa. He will be glad to learn that it is in fact Mahanayaka Asgiriya who supported the continuation of the closure that has expired.
    As to Kiriella, it is nothing but foolish to try to revive the “road through Udawatta kele” which was proposed earlier and rejected by the people of Kandy who, after all are the ones who suffer due to the closure of this road.

    • 1

      You are right! I got my wires crossed and reported the demise of the wrong Mahanayake Thero. My sincere apologies to all concerned because the Mahanayake of Malwatte has been one of the few “religious dignitaries” who has consistently conducted himself as a “dignitary.”

  • 2

    Asgiriya has just dies. Dela’s term as DN is over in May. There is no better opportunity than now if only Yahapalanaya would get off it’s increasingly moribund BUTT…

    Kiriella is a village in Sabaragamuwa !

  • 5

    Asgiriya has just died. Dela’s term as DN is over in May. There is no better opportunity than now if only Yahapalanaya would get off it’s increasingly moribund BUTT…

    Kiriella is a village in Sabaragamuwa !

    No genuine kandyans in Yahapalanaya except for one lurking in the background.

  • 5

    Sumanasekera ,
    Which of Nishantha’s three houses did you use , when yo dared to come to SL ? to share the sexual exploitation ?
    Or were you a director of the Lotteries Borad.
    Just shut you mouth and suck up to the Kangaroos!’Cause otherwise Abbot will boot in the ass and kick you out!
    bloody arse licker

  • 4

    Please send this to as many of our friends as possible.

    This [Edited out] Dela Bandara is the same shit who kidnapped two baby elephants from Pinnawela, actually grabbed them from their nursing mothers to give them as ‘pooja’ to a temple in Kandy. May the tripple Gem damn and blast the High Priest of that temple who accepted this sacrifice. The two mother elephants are supposed to have pined away and fallen ill a short while later.

    A petition was sent to Mahinda rajapakse to have this kidnapping reversed, but that SOB did nothing. This was my first loss of faith in MR, and of course, it was all downhill from there.

    But it now looks as if this Dela Bandara [Edited out] is still up to his old tricks. Someone should [Edited out], so that he no longer has to force the Kandy Municipality to run a road through Udawatte Kele. Better still, [Edited out], and also the Minister Kiriella.


  • 0

    Kandy needs a a parking structure and to tow all cars parked in the streets . the parking structure near the market is a good idea but it is not enough they need another one closer to kotudodella vidiya

  • 3

    Whiskey Madam and cousin Ranil used the Bo Tree worshipping Upasaka Sira to set Buddhist against Buddhists and Sinhalese against Sinhalese, in order to grab the reign which alluded them for 20 years.

    Now the Madam and Cousin are behind closed doors trying to rein in the President and implement their promises to Sambandan and Bathdeen , Hakeem alliance.

    The three main enemies of the Nation , Mangala, Kiriella and Karunanyaka are hard at re arranging the deck chairs to get Commissions flowing into UNP supporters’ piggy banks again, which have been empty for a long time.

    It is pleasing to note a Intelligentsia are realizing the folly of this Yahapalanaya.

    Wonder whether my mate Poorten checked whether Mr Karu has deposited that USD 3 Mil into the Treasury Account..

  • 1

    New powers in Kandy must have registered road construction co !

  • 0

    Before building a new road, other less expensive methods should be used. Encourage more people to use public transportation to get to Kandy by restrictriting access to parking, can allow certain number plates in only on specific days. Can request Dalada Maligava Mavatha be opened to quiet and clean electric buses and cars. Can construct a tram line from the main bus station going past the Dalada Maligava. Trams are used in places such as Hong Kong, San Francisco and Melbourne. A road through Udawatha Kale would mean half the wildlife would not have access to water at the Raja Pokuna and would die cruel death, very bad Karma for those involved and the City of Kandy. PLEASE LOOK FOR A CREATIVE ALTERNATE TO THIS ROAD.

    • 0

      Some alternatives suggested are: 1. Construction of a tunnel below the lake 2. Construction of a bridge across the lake, and of course, this new proposal through Udawattakelle. All these are high cost and impractical compared to just opening the metal gates blocking the present Dalada Veediya. Most people who suggest these fancy plans are not from Kandy and do not comprehend the real problem. Just to keep one man, Dela Bandara happy, this road has been closed and what is amazing is the complete silence of the highest in land including the president and the prime minister on this issue. According to some researcher from Peradeniya University, in 2002, when Ranil opened this road, the air pollution levels have dropped to much lower levels. So, why cannot he do the same thing now?

  • 0

    None of the approach roads to Udawattekelle can be widened without huge cost, to handle heavy traffic. Buildings have to be demolished and massive strengthening of culverts and bridges have to happen.

    Hence this is just a gimmick to put pressure on the objectors and open the road next to the Maligawa.

    No one has the guts to do it direct.

    I guess this is how a democracy works ?

  • 0

    Thank you for highlighting the plan to destroy a sanctuary. Kandy nestled between hills will have more pollution than Colombo where there is an ocean to clear the air at night. Colombo at this rate of pollution will not be habitable especially for children whose lead level is increasing.

    I hope President Srisena who comes from Polonnaruwa will declare Udawattekelle Sanctuary as a National Treasure to protect it from future politicians and businessmen. He better do that while he still has Presidential powers.

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