Monday, February 21, 2011

WC 2011 – Sri Lanka Vs Canada : What is the capital of Sri Lanka ?

To some of my friends who do not read much on cricket :  The enchanting game of cricket is not only a great entertainer but also educative.  One can learn people, geography, general knowledge and how to remain cheerful and confident even when one’s fancied team is on the verge of losing !!!

The small appendage that we see in Indian map is associated with India in many ways.  Quite often in Quizzes, just as capitals of States of India, there would also be a Question on Ceylon.  What is the capital of Sri Lanka ?  :  One would jump to answer as ‘Colombo’ and many a times would get marks for the wrong answer also.

The WC 2011 fever is already on and everyone including plush hotels are doing hefty business in the name of the game.  It is a battle of leather over the timber or vice versa.  The 3 matches thus far have been lopsided and perhaps Zimbabwe restricting Aussies to 262/4 is a turn towards the upsets.  If it continues to be onesided then most of the results of the  initial 42 matches would be irrelevant and then a team with 3 wins would lift the Cup. 

Srilanka has many stadiums, Asgiriya at Kandy,  Colombo Cricket Ground, Galle International, P Sara Oval also at Colombo, R Premadasa Stadium, Rangiri Dambulla at Dambulla – yesterday match against Kenya was at a different venue.  It was at Hambantota, a coastal city in the south of Sri Lanka, which bore the brunt of 2004 tsunami.  This place is also a candidate city for 2018 Commonwealth Games.   The Port of Hambantota (also known as the Magampura Port) is a maritime port recently opened in Nov 2010  with the first ceremonial berthing of the naval ship "Jetliner" to use the port facilities.  The stadium is named after President  Mahinda Rajapaksa

Lankans made a mincemeat of Canada setting a target of 333 and bowling them out for 122 in 36.5 overs. Rizwan Cheema who has a higher strike rate than Afridi sparkled for a brief while.  Mahela who initially grafted made 100 off 81, Sanga made 92 off 87.  Wandavasi Balaji Rao went wicketless in his 7 giving away 48 runs.  

J Davison of whom much was expected failed to trouble the scorers.  Kulasekara took 3 for 16.  Now on to the history learnt.  The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was earlier known as dominion of Ceylon.  In 1972, it became a republic and name changed as Sri Lanka.  This island country is located about 31 km off the southern coast of India, lying in the Indian Ocean. 

Colombo, the port city, located on the west coast of the island and a get away port is the largest city.  It was the capital of Lanka.  It is a vibrant city with modern life and colonial ruins.  It became the capital of the Nation in 1815 and retained when they obtained independence in 1948.  In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte though  Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.  Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, is not far away – about 5 miles (8 km) south east of Colombo and  is the administrative,  judicial and legislative capital of Sri Lanka.  It is known for paddy and plantations.  This was the capital of Sinhalese kingdom of Kotte from 1415 to 1565 and has lagoons, rivers and swamps.  The Parliament of Sri Lanka has been based there since the formal inauguration of its new building on 29 April 1982.

History suggests that Kotte was a jala durgha (water fortress), in the shape of a triangle.  In 1391, after the conquest of the Jaffna Kingdom by Prince Sapumal (Sembahap Perumal), Kotte was given the epithet 'Sri Jayawardhanapura' ('resplendent city of growing victory'.  Chola and Pandya kings invaded these places.  The city of Polonnaruwa was also the capital of early Sinhala kingdoms for many years. 

Whilst the President of Sri Lanka is well know, the present Prime Minister of the Nation is  D.M Jayaratne, popularly known as ‘Di Mu’

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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