Ceylon Tea Board on the occasion when the James Taylor Monument wa sunveiled n 29th January 2017
The commercial cultivation of tea in Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then known, is acknowledged to have commenced in 1867 at Loolecondera Estate, Hewaheta, in the Kandy District, by an enterprising young agriculturalist, James Taylor, a redoubtable Scotsman, of which extraction were most of the pioneers of the Industry.
Taylor in the 1870s
Taylor, the son of Michael Taylor and Margaret Moir, was born on March 29, 1835, in a cottage called “Moss Park” on the Monbodde Estate, near Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire. On being recruited as a Coffee Planter on Narenghena Estate, he arrived in Ceylon on February 20, 1852. Following a brief posting there, he was transferred to Loolecondera Estate, where he spent the rest of his life and eventually expired on May 2, 1892, at the age of 57 years, of dysentery, while still in service. Continue reading
Thiru Arumugam, from the Sunday Island, 30 January 2017 where the title reads “Desalination — Or a Reive for Jaffna?”
In 2010 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a total loan facility of 130 million US dollars for the “Jaffna and Kilinochchi Water Supply and Sanitation Project”. The local costs of 26 million dollars were to be met by the Government of Sri Lanka. The project involved providing safe drinking water for 300,000 people in Jaffna Town and surrounding areas and sanitation facilities for 80,000 people in Jaffna Town. The source of raw water was to be Iranamadu Tank in Kilinochchi. Water was to be pumped from here to a treatment plant near Pallai in the Jaffna Peninsula, and treated water distributed to consumers from there.
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Gerald H. Peiris
I knew Ajit at the time he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, and remember meeting him on and off at the ‘Arts Theatre Restaurant’ at lunch-time. The image that comes to mind is a mild-mannered and gentle youth ̶- younger than my circle of post-grad ‘Ceylonese’ pals like Uswatte, Mahes, Shan, Gunda or Dharmawardena by, say, 6 or 7 years. I haven’t met him since that time, but it seems from what he has written that he has not lost his gentleness, and has remained almost entirely free of “racial” (ethnic?) prejudices, probably impelled by personal experiences since that time.
While I particularly like the ‘autobiographical’ segment of his essay, I have to refer to several errors ̶ some, important, others trivial ̶ that could be attributed to excessive reliance on memory and ignoring what serious researchers have documented. These I specify below under sub-headings numbered 1 to 7, referring in red to highlighted extracts from his essay.
Pic from Sumal Fernando Blog wordpress
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Ajit Kanagasundram, courtesy Sunday Island 18th & 25th September 2016, where the title is “The Gal Oya Project 60 years on” … an essay supported by personal experiences and his father’s key role in this pathfinding development project. ALSO go to http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/10/10/the-gal-oya-project-60-years-on/ for the same essay and significant blog comments therein. … Emphasis by highlights is my imprint Editor, Thuppahi
Not many people today remember the Gal Oya Project but for 20 years it was the showpiece of modern independent Ceylon. It was later overshadowed by more grand (grandiose?) projects like Mahaveli where billions more were spent but the Gal Oya Project remains the standard by which all other projects should be judged. The Gal Oya Project, moreover, stands as an exemplar as to how things should be done under ideal circumstances. The project was done and paid for within our own resources, managed by local administrators and completed on time and all major objectives relating to the clearing of forest, settlement of colonists and irrigation of land were accomplished.
K. Kanagasundram Continue reading
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