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A journey of a Lifetime

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I believe that I’m a fan of spontaneous plans and decisions. I believe that whatever happens to you in life, happens for a reason. Just like that, on a rainy evening, I casually took an invitation from Mindula to join the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School, simply because I was too bored to go home after CIMA lectures. Just like a lot of people, I too joined Rotaract with the promise of food. If someone told me that I would be at this position in Rotaract back then, I wouldn’t have believed it for split second. But then again, that’s the beauty of life!

Starting as a newbie, I found myself involved in our club’s biggest projects such as Conquer Colombo and Friends in Action, in next to no time. At the end of that Rotaract year, I was approached by Sathma to take up Secretary of the club, and although and nervous of what’s to come, I took it up. Today, here I am at the end of my tenure as the 11th President of this prestigious club with a rich history. You might say that it was a risky transition from a newbie to a President, but I believe you can never achieve things in life if you aren’t willing to take that risk.

When I look back at my journey at Rotaract Achievers, it is filled with numerous stories and moments that are simply priceless. I can’t even count the moments of satisfaction I have gained through making a difference in someone’s life, the times where we’ve laughed so hard until we cry, the nights where we’ve had meetings till everyone falls asleep on one zoom call, and many more.

I will always remember the unique Suwithi moments, and how everyone gets in line to roast her, and how she would only respond to it with a bright smile and a never-ending laugh. I will always remember how I turn towards Sathma every time I had a doubt or doubted myself. I will always remember how Asel subtly swoops in when all the roasting sessions start, and how he agreed that he is as old as Kasun, as fat as Hamdhan and as lame as Sathma (if you know him, you wouldn’t believe it). I will always remember how we tease Hasitha to buy a car every time we had to walk in the sun whenever we go to Seenigama (Build a Smile for Hasitha). I will always remember how Bipash never helps out but would gobble all the food at Food Voyageur. I will always remember how Kalani would help each and everyone out without hesitating, and all the egg-related jokes, as Hiru resembles a giant living egg. Rishad and Niflaz, the two people who are best friends and a bit more who have no idea that the word no exists.

I will always remember how everyone suspects Lavanya to be the imposter when we play among us and ends up getting kicked out, except the times where she actually is the imposter. I will always remember the first time Mark played Pictionary with us where he drew something bizarre and unrelated. I will always remember how Lakshan drove on the wrong side of the road after Installation until I shouted and saved our lives, and how Theekshana almost killed everyone trying to do a insane car stunt. I will always remember how Gowthaman showed up at Sathma’s President’s dinner wearing a T-shirt, shorts and slippers and how Priyan drives a massive vehicle despite his height. I will always remember how fast Rukaiya talks so that no one understands what she has said and how Sandithi believes all the lies she is told, especially from Lakshan, Theekshana and Priyan. I will always remember the man with a plan, Ruwin, who never runs out of ideas. I will always remember the exceptional PR skills of Akila and Nadun who always mentored us, and not to mention the unique and funny vocabulary they share. I will always remember how easily Rahul gets annoyed when we say or do something stupid, and how Nuwanthi would be there for every one of us at the most crucial times. Finally, to all the newbies who joined us this year, your commitment and enthusiasm which even inspired me at times is something that I will never forget. 

I will always remember how we used to celebrate everyone’s birthdays by singing happy birthday around the table in the cafeteria while playing among us. I will always remember how we took a post-midnight road trip at DejaVu, and how Theekshana almost drove us into the Kelani river. I will always remember how we made random plans to meet at Suwithi’s, tried to walk on the beach despite the rain, played a deadly game of spoons at Kalani’s and ending the day with the heartiest singing session. 

This year was a difficult and a different challenge to all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic. Switching projects from physical spaces to virtual platforms all of a sudden was a real test for me as well, because growing up as Rotaractors, we have only had exposure to events and meetings which happen physically. I believe I was gifted with a very talented team who were always determined to keep their heads up, while even inspiring me to become the best version of myself. This year we fell, we stumbled, we got up, and we mustered the courage to complete many noteworthy initiatives, while transforming into the best version of ourselves. It was indeed a rollercoaster ride that we all faced, and I believe we overcame all those obstacles through sheer perseverance. As they say, it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. It makes me happy to see how much my members have grown during this year, and I believe that it is one of the greatest satisfactions for any President. 

I would like to take a moment to thank all the past presidents and senior members who shared their wisdom and experience to guide me towards the correct path. I also wish to thank all my friends in Rotaract as well for being a part of this journey.

The past three years have been some of the best years of my life, thanks to Rotaract Achievers. This journey has been full of challenges, laughter, tears, sleepless nights, tiring days, but above all, I’m truly grateful for all the lessons, the inspiration and the experience I’ve gained. More than that, I’m sincerely grateful to the people I’ve met, and for the fact that I have a place where I can call home without any hesitation. Rotaract may not be an easy ride, but what this extraordinary movement has to offer is priceless and rare. To all future leaders out there, know that this journey is not going to be a cakewalk, but a one to remember, and that those difficult paths will always lead you to beautiful destinations. Never be afraid to take risks and move out of your comfort zones because it is only when you Reach Beyond them, you that will reach your maximum potential and be the best!

Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake

President 2020-2021

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Boost your immunity against Covid-19!

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The Impact of Current Pandemic

We are all aware that this Pandemic has hit the world since the end of 2019. It results in approximately 13,000 deaths per day. The main cause of death is that the virus roots to pneumonia, which causes shortness of breath. Vaccines are given to trigger the immune system and to make it stronger so that the system could fight with the virus. We can face any disease if we have a stronger immune system.

වත්මන් වසංගතයේ බලපෑම

මෙම වසංගතය 2019 වර්ෂයේ අග සිට ලොවට බලපා ඇති බව අපි කවුරුත් දනිමු. එහි ප්‍රතිවිපාකයක් ලෙස දිනකට ආසන්න වශයෙන් පුද්ගලයින් 13,000 ක් මිය යනු ඇත.මරණයට ප්‍රධාන හේතුව වන්නේ වෛරසය නියුමෝනියාවට මුල් බැස ගැනීමයි. එන්නත් ලබා දෙන්නේ ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතිය අවුලුවාලීමට සහ එය ශක්තිමත් කිරීම තුලින් පද්ධතියට වෛරසය සමඟ සටන් කිරීමට හැකි කිරීමයි. අපට ශක්තිමත් ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතියක් තිබේ නම් ඕනෑම රෝගයක ට මුහුන දීමට හැක.

தற்போதைய தொற்றுநோயின் தாக்கம் 

2019 ஆம் ஆண்டின் இறுதியில் இருந்து உலகை ஆட்கொள்ளும் தொற்றுநோயைப் பற்றி நாங்கள் அறிவோம். சராசரியாக ஒரு நாளைக்கு சுமார் 13,000 பேர் இறக்கின்றனர். இதற்கு முக்கிய காரணம், இந்த வைரஸ் நியுமோனியா எனும் மூச்சுத் திணறலை ஏற்படுத்துகிறது; இதுவே மரணத்திற்கு வழிவகுக்கிறது. எனவே நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதியைத் தூண்டுவதற்கும், அதை வலுவாக மாற்றுவதற்கும் தடுப்பூசிகள் வழங்கப்படுகின்றன. இதனால் நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதி இந்த வைரஸுடன் சண்டையிட்டு எம்மை பாதுகாக்க முடிகிறது. வலுவான நோயெதிர்ப்பு திறன் இருந்தால் எந்த நோயிலிருந்தும் உயிரைப் பாதுகாக்க முடியும்.

The Importance of Immunity

What is the Immune System? The immune system is a network of biological processes that protects an organism from diseases. It detects and responds to a wide variety of pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, as well as cancer cells and objects such as wood splinters, distinguishing them from the organism’s healthy tissue. But how can we build a strong Immune System? There are actually many natural methods instead of using any artificial drugs. It is healthier and has fewer side effects or no side effects at all.

ප්‍රතිශක්තියෙහි වැදගත්කම 

ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතිය යනු කුමක්ද? ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතිය යනු ජීවියෙකු රෝග වලින් ආරක්ෂා කරන ජීව විද්‍යාත්මක ක්‍රියාවලීන්ගේ ජාලයකි. එය, වෛරස, පිළිකා සෛල, පරපෝෂිත පණුවන් හා දැව බෙදීම් වැනි රෝග කාරක වස්තූන්, ජීවියාගේ නිරෝගී පටක වලින් වෙන්කර හඳුනා ගැනීමට හා ඒවාට ප්‍රතිචාර දැක්වීමට උපකාරී වේ. එහෙත්, අප ශක්තිමත් ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතියක් ගොඩනඟන්නේ කෙසේද? කිසිදු කෘතිම ඹංෂධයක් භාවිතා කිරීමෙන් තොරව එය ගොඩනගාගැනීමට අපට බොහෝ ස්වාභාවික ක්‍රම ඇත. එය වඩාත් සෞඛ්‍ය සම්පන්න වන අතර, එයින් වැළදිය හැකි අතුරු ආබාධ ඉතාමත් අවම වේ.

நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியின் முக்கியத்துவம்

நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதி என்றால் என்ன? நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதி என்பது ஒரு உயிரினத்தை நோய்களிலிருந்து பாதுகாக்கும் உயிரியல் செயல்முறைகளின் வலையமைப்பாகும். இது வைரஸ்கள் முதல் ஒட்டுண்ணி புழுக்கள், புற்றுநோய் செல்கள் மற்றும் மர சிராய்வுகள் போன்ற பொருட்கள் வரை உயிரினத்தின் ஆரோக்கியமான திசுக்களிலிருந்து வேறுபடுத்தி கண்டறிந்து செயல்படுகிறது. வலுவான நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதி ஒன்றை எவ்வாறு உருவாக்குவது? செயற்கை வழிகளுக்கு (உ+ம் :- மருந்துகள்) பதிலாக பல இயற்கை வழிகள் உள்ளன. இவை குறைவான பக்க விளைவுகள் கொண்டவை அல்லது எந்த பக்க விளைவுகளும் இல்லாததால் ஆரோக்கியமானவை ஆகும்.

Diet System Helps! ආහාර පද්ධතිය උපකාරී වේ! உணவுப் பழக்கவழக்க முறைமை உதவுகிறது!

Some foods function as Immune Boosters. For example, Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.

සමහර ආහාර ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ වර්ධකයන් ලෙස ක්‍රියා කරයි. නිදසුනක් ලෙස, බ්රොකොලි විටමින් සහ ඛනිජ වලින් පිරිපුන් ආහාරයකි. බ්‍රොකොලි, විටමින් A , C සහ E මෙන්ම, තන්තු සහ තවත් බොහෝ ප්‍රතිඔක්සිකාරක වලින් පිරී ඇති අතර, එය ඹබේ ආහාරයට එකතු කරගත හැකි ඉතාමත් සෞඛ්‍ය සම්පන්න එළවළුකි.

சில உணவுகள் நோயெதிர்ப்பு திறனை அதிகரிக்கின்றன. எடுத்துக்காட்டாக, ப்ரோக்கோலியில் (Broccoli) வைட்டமின்கள் மற்றும் தாதுக்கள் அதிகம் காணப்படுகிறது. வைட்டமின்கள் A, C மற்றும் E, அத்துடன் நார்ச்சத்து மற்றும் பல ஒட்சியேற்ற எதிரிகள் நிரம்பிய ப்ரோக்கோலி உங்கள் தட்டில் இருக்க வேண்டிய ஆரோக்கியமான காய்கறிகளில் ஒன்றாகும்.

Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also slow down the hardening of the arteries, and there’s weak evidence that it helps lower blood pressure.

සුදුළූණු ලෝකයේ බොහෝ රටවල ආහාරයට ගැන්නා දෙයක් වන අතර, එය ශරීරයට අවශ්‍ය සින්ක් ආහාරයට එකතු කරයි. සුදුළූණු සතු ආසාදනවලට එරෙහිව සටන් කිරීමේ හැකියාවද, අතීතයේ මීනිසුන් හඳුනාගෙන ඇත. තවද, සුදුළූණු ධමනි ශක්තිමත් කරන අතර, එය රුධිර පීඩනය අඩු කිරීමට උපකාරී වන බවට සාක්ෂි ඇත.

உலகின் பல்வேறு உணவு வகைகளிலும் பூண்டு காணப்படுகிறது. இதை உங்கள் ஆரோக்கியத்திற்கு அவசியம் உட்கொள்ள வேண்டும். ஆரம்பகால நாகரிகங்கள் கூட, தொற்றுநோய்களை எதிர்த்துப் போராடுவதில் பூண்டின் சிறப்பை அறிந்திருந்தன. பூண்டு நாடிகளின் கடினப்படுத்துதலை குறைக்கக்கூடும், மேலும் இது இரத்த அழுத்தத்தைக் குறைக்க உதவுகிறது என்பதற்ககான சிறு சான்றுகளும் உள்ளன.

Ginger is another ingredient many turn to, after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.

බොහෝ අයගේ අසනීපයන්ට ‍ප්‍රතිකාරයක් ලෙස ඉඟුරු උපකාරි වේ. ඉඟුරු වේදනාව අඩු කිරීමට ඉඟුරු උපකාරී වන අතර, එමගින් වැළදිය හැකි බොහෝ රෝගද අවම කර ගත හැකිය.

நோய்வாய்ப்பட்ட பிறகு பலர் நாடும் மற்றொரு மூலப்பொருள் இஞ்சி ஆகும். இஞ்சியானது வீக்கம், தொண்டை வலி, குமட்டல் மற்றும் அழற்சி நோய்களைக் குறைக்க உதவும்.

Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find double the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single medium fruit. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

පැපොල් යනු විටමින් C පිරි පටවා ඇති පලතුරකි. ඔබට දිනපතා නිර්දේශිත විටමින් C ප්‍රමාණය මෙන් දෙගුණයක් එක් පලතුරකින් සොයාගත හැකිය. පැපොල්හි ආහාර ජීර්ණ එන්සයිමයක් අඩංගු වන අතර එහි සෞඛ්‍යයට හිතකර පොටෑසියම්, මැග්නීසියම් සහ ෆෝලේට් ද, මනා පමනින් අඩංගු වේ.

பப்பாளி வைட்டமின் C நிரம்பிய மற்றொரு பழமாகும். ஒரு சாதாரண பப்பாளிப்பழத்தில் தினசரி பரிந்துரைக்கப்படும் வைட்டமின் C அளவை விட இரட்டிப்பளவு காணப்படுகிறது. பப்பாளியில் காணப்படும் பாப்பேன் (Papain) எனப்படும் செரிமான நொதியம் அழற்சிதரு எதிர் விளைவுகளைக் கொண்டுள்ளது. பப்பாளியில் பொட்டாசியம், மெக்னீசியம் மற்றும் ஃபோலேட் (Folate) ஆகியவை குறிப்பிட்டளவில் காணப்படுகின்றன. இவை அனைத்தும் உங்கள் ஒட்டுமொத்த ஆரோக்கியத்திற்கு நன்மை பயக்கும்.

Good Rest Helps

Apart from boosting the immune system through foods, other ways help to improve the performance of Immunity. Sleep and immunity are closely tied. Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness. Most adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. moderate exercise may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly. 

මනා විවේකය උපකාරී වේ

ආහාර මගින් ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතිය ඉහළ නැංවීමට අමතරව, වෙනත් ක්‍රම මඟින් ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණයේ ක්‍රියාකාරිත්වය වැඩි දියුණු කිරීමට අතිශයින්ම වැදගත් වේ. සුවනින්ද හා ප්‍රතිශක්තිය සමීපව බැඳී ඇත. ප්‍රමාණවත් විවේකයක් ලබා ගැනීමෙන් ඔබේ ස්වාභාවික ප්‍රතිශක්තිය ශක්තිමත් වන අතර, ඔබේ ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතියට රෝගයට වඩා හොඳින් සටන් කිරීමට හැකි වනු ඇත. සෑම වැඩිහියෙකුම රාත්‍රියකට අවම වශයෙන් පැය 7 ක නින්දක් ලබා ගත යුතුය.  තවද, මධ්‍යස්ථ ව්‍යායාම, ඔබේ ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ සෛල නිතිපතා පුනර්ජනනය කිරීමට උපකාරී වේ. 

நல்ல ஓய்வு உதவுகிறது

உணவுகள் மூலம் நிர்ப்பீடனத்தொகுதியை பலமூட்டுவதைத் தவிர, பிற வழிகள் மூலமாகவும் நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியின் செயல்திறனை மேம்படுத்த முடியும். தூக்கத்திற்கும் நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்திக்கும் நெருக்கமான தொடர்புள்ளது. போதுமான ஓய்வு பெறுவது உங்கள் இயற்கையான நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியை பலப்படுத்தும். மேலும், நீங்கள் நோய்வாய்ப்பட்டிருக்கும் போது, நோயை எதிர்த்துப் போராட நோயெதிர்ப்பு சக்தியினை அனுமதிக்க நீங்கள் அதிகம் தூங்கலாம். பெரும்பாலானோர் ஒரு இரவுக்கு குறைந்தது 7 மணிநேர தூக்கத்தைப் பெற வேண்டும். 

Physical Exercise Helps

Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, steady bicycling, jogging, swimming, and light hiking would help to maintain immunity. 

ශාරීරික වියායාම උපකාරී වේ 

මධ්‍යස්ථ ව්‍යායාම සඳහා නිදසුන් වන්නේ වේගවත් ඇවිදීම, ස්ථාවර බයිසිකල් පැදීම, පැනීම, පිහිනීම සහ සැහැල්ලු කඳු නැගීම ප්‍රතිශක්තිය පවත්වා ගැනීමට උපකාරී වේ. 

உடல் உடற்பயிற்சி உதவுகிறது

மிதமான உடற்பயிற்சி வீக்கத்தைக் குறைத்து, உங்கள் நோயெதிர்ப்பு கலங்களை தொடர்ந்து மீளுருவாக்கம் செய்ய உதவும். மிதமான உடற்பயிற்சிகளான நடைபயிற்சி, நிலையான சைக்கிள் ஓட்டுதல், ஜாகிங், நீச்சல் ஆகியவை நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியை பராமரிக்க உதவும்.

Avoiding Liquor Helps 

What weakens Immunity? Lack of sleep and poor diet deteriorates immunity. Also, Smoking impacts both innate and adaptive immunity and plays dual roles in regulating immunity by either exacerbation of pathogenic immune responses or attenuation of defensive immunity. 

මත්පැනින් වැළකී සිටීම උපකාරී වේ

ප්‍රතිශක්තිය දුර්වල කරන්නේ කුමක් ද? නින්ද නොමැතිකම සහ දුර්වල ආහාර ගැනීම ප්‍රතිශක්තිය පිරිහීමට ලක් කරයි. එසේම, දුම්පානය සහජ හා අනුවර්තී ප්‍රතිශක්තියට බලපාන අතර, එය ව්යාධිජනක ප්රතිශක්තිකරණ ප්රතික්රියා උග්ර කිරීම හෝ ආරක්ෂක ප්‍රතිශක්තිය අත්පත් කර ගැනීම තුලින් ප්‍රතිශක්තිය නියාමනය කිරීමේදී ද්විත්ව කාර්යභාරයක් ඉටු කරයි. 

போதை பழக்கத்தைத் தவிர்த்தல் உதவுகிறது

நோய் எதிர்ப்பு திறனை பலவீனப்படுத்துவது எது? தூக்கமின்மை மற்றும் மோசமான உணவுப் பழக்கவழக்கங்கள் என்பன நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியை மோசமடைய செய்கிறது. மேலும், புகைபிடித்தலால் உள்ளார்ந்த நிர்ப்பீடனம் மற்றும் தேர்வுக்குரிய நிர்ப்பீடனம் ஆகிய இரண்டிலும் பாதிப்பு ஏற்படுகின்றது. மேலும் நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியைக் கட்டுப்படுத்துவதில், நோயாக்கி நுண்ணங்கிகளுக்கு எதிரான நிர்ப்பீடனத்தை ஆபத்தாக்குதல், நோய் எதிர்ப்பு சக்தியின் உக்கிரத்தை குறைத்தல் ஆகிய இரட்டை வேடங்களை வகிக்கின்றது.

Prevention is Better than Cure!

To conclude, everyone should understand what needs to be done to fight against the coronavirus. Without depending on artificial drugs, let’s take some steps to improve our Immune System to fight against the enemy of all mankind, the pandemic. 

Love yourself, love your family, love your neighbors and far-neighbors!  

Stay Home! Stay Safe!

වැළැක්වීම, ප්‍රතිකාරයට වඩා යෝග්‍ය වේ!

අවසාන වශයෙන්, කොවිඩ්-19 වෛරසයට එරෙහිව සටන් කිරීම සඳහා කළ යුතු දෑ අප සියලු දෙනා තේරුම් ගත යුතුය. කෘතිම ඹංෂධ මත යැපීමකින් තොරව, සියලු මානව වර්ගයාගේ සතුරා වන මෙම වසංගතයට එරෙහිව සටන් කිරීම සඳහා අපගේ ප්‍රතිශක්තිකරණ පද්ධතිය වැඩිදියුණු කිරීමට ගත හැකි පියවර සියල්ලම ගනිමු. 

ඔබටත්, ඔබේ පවුලේ අයටත්, අසල්වැසියන්ටත් ආදරය කරන්න! නිවසේම රැදෙන්න! නීරේගීව සිටින්න!

வரும் முன் காப்பதே சிறந்தது!

முடிவாக, இந்த வலுவான கொரோனா வைரஸுக்கு எதிராக போராட என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும் என்பதை நாம் அனைவரும் புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும். செயற்கை மருந்துகளை மட்டுமே நம்பி இருக்காமல், அனைத்து மனிதகுலத்தின் எதிரியான இந்த தொற்றுநோய்க்கு எதிராகப் போராட நமது நோயெதிர்ப்பு சக்தியை மேம்படுத்த உரிய நடவடிக்கைகளை எடுப்போம்.

உங்களை, உங்கள் குடும்பத்தை, உங்கள் அயலவர்களை நேசிக்கவும்! 

வீட்டில் தங்கி நாம் அனைவரும் பாதுகாப்பாக இருப்போம்!

Written by: Rtr. Mark Nesan

Sinhala Translation: Rtr. Kalani Siriwardena

Tamil Translation: Rtr. Gowthaman Jegatheesan

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Step in to save the Environment

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I don’t want to protect the environment. I want to create a world where environment doesn’t need protection – Davis Rally

Environmental Pollution is a major concern in today’s status quo.  First, let us address what we refer to, as the environment. The environment is the surrounding which includes hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, biodiversity of plants and animals, chemical forces, abiotic substances, and nature. The environment is the fundamental feature needed for mankind, and now it arises a doubt whether the next generation will have an opportunity to survive on planet Earth?

Harming Mother Nature which ensures our survival, is the same as betraying our own mother who gave us this soul and body. In the name of so-called progress, we are destroying the ecological balance of our planet. The wastage from the factories, chemical reactions, deforestation are the main causes for such imbalance. Furthermore, Improper disposal of garbage also influences the cleanliness of the environment. Additionally, although it is hard to identify light and nuclear pollution, these are equally harmful. Excessively bright lights consume a lot of energy while threatening the environmental balance in several ways. The negative impacts of nuclear pollution would last for many decades to come.

I believe that there is nothing to do with laws here. As the dependents of the environment, everyone in the earth is responsible for the impacts. It’s our responsibility to make sure our next generation will have a healthy environment to live in. We have to make sure our garbage is disposed properly, and we have to start planting Trees.                                                       

He who plants tress, plants hope.

The factories should use the natural resources in an effective way which means the mining of resources should be done properly. We should use water economically. We should protect wildlife from its illegal trade. We should build Eco-friendly buildings and use cars only for a long distance as the gas emitted from cars pollutes the air. Governments are also emphasizing on planting more trees, eliminating plastic products, better recycling of natural wastes, and minimal use of pesticides. This kind of organic lifestyle has helped us protect many plant and animal species from becoming extinct while making earth a greener and healthier place to live in.

Walk with your mother nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul.

If the precautions are undone, the results will force us to find another planet for survival. There will be scarcity of water and food. The air and water will be polluted. It is unnecessary to say that environmental pollution has ruined and spread its toxic tentacles inside the basic needs of humans, i.e., water, food, air, and soil. It affects our inhaling, drinking, and eating. It also damages the health of animals along with humans. Population would fall. The beauty of nature? Oh no, Existence of nature is a doubt here, In between who cares the beauty? 

The United Nations is implementing a lot of projects to protect the environment. From 1974, they declared 5th of June as the World Environmental Day. Their themes for the past 5 years are;  

2017 – Connecting People to Nature

2018 – Beat Plastic Pollution

2019 – Beat Air Pollution

2020 – Time for Nature

2021 – Generation Restoration 

Many people nowadays think that they don’t need to protect the environment. They don’t know that they can’t survive without it. “It is the first mother; we have to take care of it”. Polluter pays principle says, the one who harms the environment has to bear the loss and settle it back to the environment. But let me ask you, can anyone set off the pollution and diseases caused by pollution itself? NEVER. “Prevention is better than cure” Let’s stop harming each other and the environment. 

As ancestors for our future generation, let’s start making legacies to bestow!

Rtr. Ramajini Gnanasuthan 

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Be a true Friend

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Good Friends care for each other, Close Friends understand each other, but True Friends stay forever, beyond words, beyond distance and beyond time.

Friendship is valuable, but how many of us truly value it? Almost all of us have friends, some who we made in our childhood, to some who we make today. True friends always help each other grow and change for the better. They support you in good times and bad, and know about you more than anyone else. True friends always have each other’s back, and never blame each other.

But, is it always like this?

It’s heartbreaking to see how those who were once best friends, are almost like strangers now. It’s even more heartbreaking to see how little it takes for a friend to drift away. I personally loath those kind of friendships. When we become friends, I expect that bond to remain forever. I hate to see how ‘best friends’ move away from us after some time, and even become someone else’s ‘best friend’ so easily. In my opinion, those aren’t true friends. I believe that true friends are people who care for each other, understand each other, and remain the same despite the span of distance, or lack of time and words.

I value long-term friendships. I personally don’t fancy the short term ones which are only formed for a specific purpose, as an ad-hoc committee. I expect my friends to always be in touch with me, and not turn into the category of a ‘hi-bye friend’ after a few months. I believe that true friends must always be in touch. 

I have met some friends who say they are busy all the time, even to have a chat over a call. Sometimes they don’t seem to even have the time to reply to a text message, but seem to have the time for others. All I can say about such friends is that they aren’t true friends! In my perspective, it’s all about people’s priorities. So, if  you don’t even count on their priority list, how can you consider them your true friend? If you too have been in a situation like this, my advice is, Don’t waste your time finding stones when there are diamonds

The most important qualities of a true friend include honesty, respect and trustworthiness.

A true friend must be honest. We meet many people in our lives, among whom some become our friends, few remain to be long lasting, and the very few who gems who turn out to be honest and loyal for a lifetime. I believe that the main ingredient of true friendship is honesty, and that it also turns out to be the secret of a successful friendship. Being honest includes both appreciating the good things about them, like complementing the way they dress, encouraging their achievements, and taking part of their joyfulness, as well as advising them before they make a wrong choice, or tackling their problems with them.  

We must value respect in a friend. A true friend is someone who accepts you for who you are. True friends don’t start a fight just because they disagree with you, don’t backbite you, and don’t make up rumors about you. 

Trustworthiness is important in any relationship. True friends are known to be those secret keepers. True friends will hold each other’s embarrassing moments and funny stories, and protect you against offense. A true friend will stand with you and support you at every stage of life, and I believe this acts as a liberating element in true friendship. 

Try to get back in touch with an old friend…

A Cheering moment of a friendship story is getting back together with a childhood friend who you weren’t in touch with for a long time. Even after years, if you can get in touch with each other, restart your friendship from where you left it, and be the same old close friends you were, I recognize that as a TRUE FRIENDSHIP!

It is very important to have a true friend who is always there for you. Everyone should know how to choose a true friend and how to honor friendship. If we wish that our friends should be true to us, then we must be true to them. True friendship is not only doing crazy things and having fun together, it’s also sticking together and having an inseparable bond.

Rtr. Sashmittha Manickam Kumar

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Business with Cricut

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Cricut is an electric die cutting machine which can cut any image/shape/word you want using Cricut design space software. (If you want to read more details about what it is and what it does click here) The Cricut is not just a crafter’s machine that you use only to make paper crafts and cards. Not just for personal projects, this machine can also be used to design, make and sell so many different products and designs.  In this blog I will walk you through some of these business ideas and products you can make with a Cricut and sell.

There are three Cricut models available in the market at the moment, which I’ve explained in the last blog. Everything you can do from a Cricut Joy can be made from a Cricut Explore Air 2 and everything you can make from an Explore Air 2, you can make with a Cricut Maker. Choosing which machine you need to buy depends on what you’re planning to make with it. For example, if you just want to make custom vinyl names for mugs, your best option would be the Cricut joy. Although it’s possible by all means to cut custom vinyl names with the Maker and the Explore Air 2, it’s not really necessary to buy a big machine for a small purpose. Therefore, this blog will be written as three parts focusing on different products you can make with each machine.

1. Cricut Joy

The maximum cutting size using a mat in the Cricut Joy is 4.25”x11.75” and this only has cutting and writing features. Some of the projects you can do with the Joy is,

Cutting custom names, shapes and quotes using vinyl for bottles, mugs, labels, etc.

Apart from a Cricut Joy you need permanent vinyl and transfer tape for this. Vinyl is like a sticker sheet but with a permanent adhesive backing, where you cut your design on vinyl and weed the unnecessary parts out. Then you take a piece of transfer tape, transfer the cut image to the tape and paste it on the required surface. Since the vinyl is permanent, it won’t come off when washing and cleaning which makes it perfect for mugs, bottles, tumblers, etc.

Writing/cutting name tags for spice jars, pantry jars, books, personal items, etc.

Want to organize your spice rack or the book shelves? All you need is a sticker sheet (because you get a free pen that can be used in the Joy with the machine itself). You choose your font and write the names of the spices or book sections you want and you cut around it to make it an adhesive tag you can take off from the sticker sheet and paste it on the required surface. Even vinyl can be used to cut out the names straight out of it and paste. This depends on what kind of look you’re going for.

I'm Not a Crafter & Made Spice Labels w/ Cricut Joy Machine - Hip2Save

Small party decorations. (Cake and cupcake toppers, photo props, banners)

For this you only need paper and design skills. It’s easy to design a quick simple cake topper and for other customized themes you’re going to have to be a little creative and design images and words. 

Personalized napkins and socks.

Normal adhesives like vinyl won’t stay on fabrics. Therefore, you need to use something called Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) if you want to customize napkins, socks, baby clothes, etc. You also need something called a heat press, because like the name says the vinyl is transferred when only heat is applied on it. You can even use a normal iron you use to iron clothes at home to do this but it will take a little longer than usual. 

Seasonal décor (Halloween, Christmas, New year, Valentine’s, etc.).

By using the materials and techniques I have already mentioned, seasonal decoration items can be made to sell or use as part of your home’s seasonal décor.

2. Cricut Explore Air 2

Everything that can be made from Joy, can be made from the Explore Air 2 and since this has a bigger cutting area you can cut larger projects than what you can on the Joy. However, there’s one extra feature the Explore Air 2 has and the Joy doesn’t. It’s the Print and Cut feature.  What this does is, it allows you to print your own images (any shape) and the machine will cut the printed image for you. This is something you can use to make custom stickers. If you want instructions on how to do this, there are a lot of YouTube tutorials on it on the internet.  


Foil lettering (envelopes/invitations)

Recently, Cricut has introduced the foil feature to the market. Usually, foiling is done by applying heat, but the foil Cricut introduced is transferred to the paper by applying pressure onto it. Therefore, the foil that can be worked with the Cricut must be specially made and you can’t just use any foil available in the market. However, there’s a tool set by a company called We R Memory Keepers that allows you to apply heat transfer foil to your products. The tips need to be heated by connecting it to an external power supply. 

Leather Earrings/key tags/bracelets/name tags

Since the Explore Air 2 has more cutting pressure than the Joy, it can cut through more dense and thicker materials like leather too. Earrings, tags and bracelets are some of the things you can make with leather among many others. You can even add foiled designs or heat transfer vinyl on these leather products.

3. Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker is the most powerful machine of the Cricut line and because of this the Maker can make anything the Joy and the Explore Air 2 can and even more. The maker has 4000g cutting pressure and this has the adaptive tool system. The adaptive tool system allows you to use different kinds of blades/tools to cut, score, emboss and deboss. The Maker also comes with a special rotary blade which allows you to cut very thin materials like tissue paper and even a wide range of fabrics. 

Engraved light boxes and key tags.

You have to use the engraving tool for this and spend a little more time designing, but this surely is something any person would want to gift. You either make light boxes or key tags by engraving on acrylic. 

Engraved bracelets and dog tags.

You probably weren’t expecting this but you can even engrave on metal too. Two products you can make and sell by engraving on metal are dog tags and bracelets. 

Fabric face masks, purses and pencil cases, letters, toys, etc.

By using the rotary blade, you can cut face masks and sew the pieces together. There are some face mask cut files available on Cricut Design Space for free. Not just the ones I’ve mentioned, if you Google, you can find many more ideas and free cut files available online. 

There are just a few of the many MANY things you can make with a Cricut. A quick Google search should find you a lot of other possible products you can make with a Cricut and sell. 

Hope this article was helpful.

Happy crafting!
Stay safe 😊

Rtr. Nethmi Lavanya

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What Covid-19 really taught us

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For us teenagers and young adults alike, a global pandemic was something unheard of, until the emergence of COVID – 19. For many of us, the word “Covid-19” would simply remind of very common facts related to it such as the death toll for a particular day, a new variant, or vaccines. But have we ever thought about how much the pandemic has impacted our lives? It may be that we subconsciously adapted to it, that we simply did not realize we were naturally fitting into the ‘New normal’. My personal experiences, stories I have heard of people, and things I have seen, encouraged me to write this article regarding the teachings and impacts the global pandemic had on our very own lives, especially during the few times we were under lock down. 

During our cycle of life we all embrace many things at the different stages, be it people, habits, hobbies or physical things. But, one important thing the pandemic taught us was that most of the things we embrace in life are temporary, and that we would have to let go of them at some point in life. For example, regular smokers and alcohol consumers had little or no access to cigarettes and alcohol during the lockdown period. People who partied until late night had no chance for that. Gym freaks were unable to hit the gym, and the list goes on. We were all deprived of something during this lockdown period and all it taught us was that most things in life are temporary, and that we shouldn’t be distracted too much by them, but instead focus on the more important things.

Beliefs of casts and social hierarchies have been a massive part of Sri Lankan culture for an extremely long period, and are believed by many even to this date. The latest division is the rich and the poor, which is arising from the increase in poverty, and the financial crisis within the country. However, the pandemic proved to us that all humans are the same. The simplest example was that, regardless of whether a person was rich, poor, or from a high or low cast, if he or she died due to complications resulting from contacting the Covid-19 virus, they all underwent a common form of disposal. No funerals, just a few close family members walking behind your casket unable to even see or touch your body. Therefore, I believe that we all should all set aside any negative thoughts and actions, and start working towards rebuilding peace and prosperity within our country. Life is uncertain, and all we can leave behind are the cherish-able memories of yourself and your impact to society.

Most of us have adapted to certain methods or ways of life, some which have been passed on to us over several generations. But during the pandemic situation most of these methods had to be completely changed. For example, schools and universities functioned online, where students had to adapt to distanced learning methods, while most workplaces continued offering their services with their staff working online. This strategy enabled us to work at the comforts of our own homes and lifted the burden of traveling. It also had its downsides such as the deprivation of the normal working or studying environment and very limited engagement with workmates. As a whole, what this pandemic has proven to us is that life is all about change, and that this is what leads to success. The ability to change also shows courage, and is the starting point of many great things. The pandemic successfully made us change the way we did many things, and adapt to different methods in a short period. I feel that this is something we could all be grateful for. 

Time is probably one of the most precious things in life, and one thing this pandemic situation offered us was more time. This was actually a great opportunity for many to catch up on many other things we had missed out. For example, we had more time to spend with our families, or to do things we were passionate about. For most of us, this helped balance out the stress that came upon us due to various other reasons related to being stuck at home. 

Many considered the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for mother earth to heal itself. We could see a clear reduction in pollution all around the world, and it was further reinforced with the claim that the ozone layer too had revived a part of itself, because the depletion had reduced. This also resulted in people acknowledging this to be a much needed phenomenon meant to restore balance on earth. 

Not all impacts that resulted from the pandemic were positive ones. The amount of cases reported to mental health institutions or counseling service providers had increased. Being stuck at home was not good for people dealing with a lot of stress or depression. Furthermore, this also contributed towards an increase in abuse. For some people, having to step out of the house for certain needs or duties was actually a way of escaping abuse within their households. But as a result of the pandemic situation, this was not possible. Therefore it’s always best to check on our friends and loved ones as we may not know what they are going through. 

Silhouette Of A Man Slapping His Woman Stock Photo - Download Image Now -  iStock

The pandemic was also a massive blow on the poor. A bigger percentage of people in our country are daily wage earners, and not being able to earn during these days certainly made it very difficult for them. One common thing we saw was people lined up at pawning centers to exchange their jewelry for money. Therefore, its always important not to misuse or mishandle whatever we possess or earn, but to handle them with care as we might not know when their importance may arise. 

All in all, this pandemic gave us a taste of how volatile life is, and how it is a daily struggle to simply make do every day. It gave value to each of those daily experiences we have, be it good or bad. It goes without saying that we should truly make the best out of these valuable experiences and use them to succeed in the future.   

Rtr. Priyan Jerome

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Patents – The Key to Innovation

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An Invention, by definition is an outcome, unique and novel, which has not been seen before. On the other hand, an Innovation is something that improves an existing product, process or service. An Invention, will provide you with a brand-new solution to your technical problems. On the other hand, an Innovation is crucial to the development and deployment of technologies. Usually, an Innovation is done on an existing Invention, which is why we say, Invention is the bedrock of Innovation. Throughout the past few decades, the world has seen the rise of remarkable Inventions and well as Innovations, mostly in field of Technology.

The Life Cycle of Technologies refers to the stages through which any technology is developed and implemented. It can have various stages from Research and Development (RD), Invention and Market Development, to Commercial Diffusion. Different processes occur at each of these stages, providing various opportunities to employ instruments that promote Invention and Innovation. When a new technology comes into the market, society as a whole stand to benefit – both directly, because it may enable us to do something that was previously not possible, and indirectly, in terms of the economic opportunities (business development and employment) that can flow from it.

Patented stamp

What is a Patent? A Patent is the granting of a property right by a sovereign authority to an inventor for an outstanding and useful invention. This grant provides the inventor exclusive rights to the patented process, design, or invention for a designated period, in exchange for a comprehensive disclosure of the invention.

Patents can play a prominent role in the entire Life Cycle of Technologies, from initial Research and Development to Market Introduction, and allow competitive technologies to be protected and licensed to third parties to expand financial opportunities. This is because an individual or company that holds a patent has the right to prevent others from making, selling, retailing or importing that technology. This creates opportunities for inventors to sell, trade or license their patented technologies with others who may want to use them.

Since it gives inventors certain exclusive rights over their creations; it aims to encourage creative innovation, by offering inventors an opportunity to derive fair returns from their investments. Fair enough, would you ever try to develop something new if it was readily and freely available to you? But if you had to pay to access those technologies, and also see the rewards given to newly developed technologies, you might also want to develop one of your own. This has become of the biggest incentives and motivations to drive Inventions and Innovations among people. As a result, these Inventions are seen to have benefited society immensely, in activities of various industries and Economies. Moreover, the revenues generated from commercially successful patent-protected technologies make it possible to finance further Technological Research and Development (R&D), thereby improving the chances of even better technologies becoming available in the future.

We stated earlier that when a patent is being granted for a particular Invention, the owner has to provide the authorities a comprehensive disclosure of the invention. This Patent information provides a lot of valuable insights about Technology Inventions and Innovations in general. These include, which countries and innovators are active in inventing technologies, which countries are the potential markets, where technologies need to be protected, the trends of technology developments in certain technology fields over time, and the trends of technology transfers from one country to another. This information can be mapped, offering policy makers useful insights about these Technologys’ Life Cycles. It doesn’t stop there! All this information can be made publicly, available for all potential inventors to access, making the pool of resources and information wider and wider as inventions grow. This has become one of the most useful tools in shaping policy and regulatory environments that allow future innovations to thrive.

This means that, in addition to recognizing and rewarding inventors for their commercially successful technologies, patents also tell the world about inventions. The technical information and business intelligence generated by the patenting process can spark new ideas and promote new inventions from which we can all benefit, and which may, in turn, qualify for patent protection. And as we know, with each new patent comes knowledge, which keeps expanding.

There are numerous sites such as Google patents, Espacenet which give access to millions of patent documents and applications from patent offices and global forums around the world, which enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. The aim of making this information widely available is to scintillate new ideas and promote more innovation, and also to help narrow the knowledge gap which exists in least developed countries and developing countries like Sri Lanka.

Written by: Rtr. Gowthman Jagetheesan

Edited by: Rtr. Kalani Siriwardena

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What to look out for in the 2021 F1 Season

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The 2021 Formula 1 season is just around the corner. 23 races are scheduled for 2021 and it will be the longest season in the history of F1. It is a season where teams are going in with most of the 2020 car and with budget caps its going to be a huge challenge. Since the teams were given just 2 tokens to develop the 2021 car it is expected to be a close battle between them

With just 3 days of pre season testing and the insight from the Netflix series Drive to Survive here’s what I expect the 2021 season to pan out.

Mercedes

The dominators would be a correct word to describe the team with 7 consecutive double world titles under their belt, this is the team to beat in 2021. They come with a very strong pair of drivers of which one driver is a 7 time would champion and a Finn who is very hungry for his 1st title. The team is always aiming for perfection and it is shown how they always focus on themselves and always push the limits on innovation.

Sir Lewis Hamilton is the driver everyone wants to beat with his team mate Bottas being the 1st in line. Things are heating up between the duo as Valtteri Bottas has started playing various mind games with Hamilton to a level of attacking Hamilton’s personal life choices. This creates a very toxic environment within the team and gives out the same vibe as 2016 in the Mercedes garage. With every driver on the grid trying out for a seat in the Mercs it puts pressure mostly on Bottas as he has to stay at his A game week in and week out. Hamilton has created a name for himself that to get a contract extension it would just be a sit-down talk with Toto Wolff.

Talking about the 2021 car, Testing didn’t go well for Mercedes or for the teams that had Mercedes engines fitted, with various breakdowns. Mainly it was the gearbox which was overheating, this could be because the team has such a compact package that there isn’t enough cooling over the vital parts. While this happenned, I’m pretty sure Mercedes will be quick on there feet and resolve the issue in the couple of weeks before the 1st race. As to how fast it is, we can never know, testing has never been a place where we should benchmark a team’s performance as there might be sandbagging or low weight running to test systems. We’ll see how good the car is on Saturday with Qualifying for the 1st race of the season.

Secret new aero details and a new focus for Hamilton: 5 takeaways from  Mercedes' 2021 launch | Formula 1

RedBull

The team who does things rather different to the others and are at the top. The team that dominated the first few years last decade is always hungry for domination. The only team that was an actually challenge for Mercedes in some races. The team ended last year on a high with a pole and win on the track Mercedes were dominant since 2014. Cristian Horner said it was a statement that they are now on par with the Mercedes.

Max Verstappen is the hot driver for Redbull as he is challenging Mercedes. Alex Albon who had a bad season was dropped by RedBull for another talent Sergio Perez, who lost his contract for a team he was very loyal to. Perez has shown incredible performance and last year was his best season. He got his 1st win after being the last on lap 1 of the Shakir GP. And if not for reliability problems he would have been finishing in the top 5 for the last few races of 2020. Overall, the team has a good driver line up for 2021 and is very confident on being on top this season.

The 2021 car of the team seams to be working well. RedBull always ran a short high rake car and with the regulation changes they seam to favour the car. The team managed to be the fastest car in testing but as testing is never a good benchmark, we will have to see what it can do on a proper race weekend. Nontheless the car seams to be working well and we might be looking for an interesting championship fight this season.

F1: Red Bull presents its 2021 Formula 1 car, the RB16B

McLaren.

The legendary team who was having a hard time from 2014 is now getting back to the top with 3 podiums last year and showing some excellent performance. They have a new power unit this year with them deciding to get the most powerful engine on the grid from Mercedes while dropping the Renault engine they had been using for a while. Lando Norris will be pairing up with former RedBull and Renault driver Daniel Riccardo. McLaren finished P3 in last seasons championship and would be battling to keep the place this year as well.

Lando Norris even though he is young is now the most senior driver teamwise starting his 3rd year with the team and his career. The young brit started last year with a great 1st podium and is expecting to have more under his belt this season. The smiling Australian is also hungry for wins and a championship and expect to achieve this goal with McLaren over the coming years. Riccardo is a race winner so he expects to bring his knowledge from his achievements to grow the team fighting for race wins.

As for the 2021 contender, McLaren is doing well looking at testing, the car seams fast and without any reliability issues. They had to change the car a lot to get the Mercedes powertrain installed but it hasn’t affected performance much. There seams to be no engine reliability issues faced by this team unlike the other Mercedes Power unit users. This might be for them having a slightly wider engine cavity than the others. Overall, they are in a good place this season and looking to be top of the mid field this season as well.

We would be very, very satisfied with a podium" - McLaren F1 boss Andreas  Seidl sets goal for Bahrain GP | The SportsRush

Aston Martin

The British Ferrari, James Bond Cars are several names for the iconic brand that’s coming back into F1 again. Aston Martin has been around the paddock for a while as a title sponsor for RedBull Racing but now with Lawrence Stroll saving the company from bankruptcy, he now joined forces with the brand and his F1 team Racing Point. The iconic pink livery on the grid has gone and the iconic British Racing green is on the Grid for 2021. Racing point got a lot of hate last year for being called the Pink Mercedes as their 2020 car was very similar to 2019’s Title winning Mercedes. Yet with a fine and a 15-point deduction they were 4th in the championship. If the had the 15 points they would’ve been the 3rd.

Lawrence Stroll owning the team means his son Lance will be on the grid for quite sometime. That being said Lance is also showing strong performance with a Pole position in the greasy wet Turkish GP and leading a good amount of laps until a bad strategy call. The team has a well experienced 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel handling the car for them as well. Sebastian has experience from his championship years in RedBull and has a good knowledge on how Ferrari gets work done, so I’m sure that Vettel being on the team will make Aston Martin a great boost in the fight for that 3rd spot in the championship.

According to Aston Martin they have used the 2020 driver cell but the rest is relatively new. We don’t know how good the car is since they were hit with a lot of reliability issues mainly on the gearbox side of things. Like Mercedes they run a very compact rear end which has an effect in cooling and as a result PU components tend to overheat and fail. They didn’t get the track time they need with Vettel getting the lowest overall laps in the car. Hopefully they have resolved the issues and we will see where the green car is on Saturday.

The 12 month journey to settle Aston Martin's new F1 livery

Alpine

Renault in 2020, Alpine in 2021. The team rebranded for this season as well as made a lot of changes in the top-level management. The team principal is no more and a Moto GP team principal is the race director for Alpine. With Cyril gone the team is under new control hoping to get close to the top teams. A Blue Livery and a champion under their belt they hope to have a good season in 2021.

Fernando Alonso is coming back from retirement to the team that he actually won his 2 championships with. Joined by him is Esterban Ocon who is an average F1 driver in my opinion. Ocon’s driving isn’t something exciting but he has potential to improve. His 1 year of not being in a car did make a noticeable dent in his performance but 2021 might be different and we will have to see how this would pan out. 

The car for 2021 seams to be good from what I’ve seen but can’t really put where it is going to be in the fight as they are in a bit of a grey area when it comes to performance. They never really had a good reliability record so it will be a struggle by the end of the season to keep the 3 engines run 23 races. Overall, the car has the best Livery of the season and with the experienced Alonso and podium sitter Ocon, they are looking to bring the fight to McLaren and Aston Martin.

Alpine F1 for 2021 | Alpine | SuperCars.net

Ferrari

The team everyone knows, the team that is a part of F1, the oldest team in F1 are just a few names to call the team. The Red car is always a trademark in the sport and they had their highs in the 2000’s but is still to win a championship since 2008. A very long overdue win for the team. Last year was not the best for the team with them having to turn down the power of their engines after an investigation done by the FIA about the legality of the unit. 

For the first time ever, the team doesn’t have a World Champion driving for them. Charles Leclerc got the longest contract ever in Ferrari for 5 years making it clear that Ferrari are aiming for a Championship with the boy who comes from Monaco. Vettel who was dropped from the team made a lot of fans judge Ferrari and I feel Ferrari could’ve handled the release of Sebastian better rather than just ringing him up mid lockdown and saying you are not going to drive for us after 2020. Carlos Sainz will be replacing Vettel at Ferrari and honestly it was a good choice. Carlos has some great skill and he was deserving a top seat, After having switching teams multiple time I feel he is on the path to achieve great things with the Red car.

The car in 2021 has been improved a lot according to what we saw in testing. The engine power has been restored to a certain level and the car in general has some performance that they had. But are they ready to win races and challenge RedBull and Mercedes? Personally, I don’t think so but they will be close. They will score multiple podiums but winning multiple races is still grey. 

Ferrari launches 2021 F1 car with revised livery - The Race

Alpha Tauri

The sister team of RedBull. This Italian team is an underdog. The team is never meant to win races or score podiums but rather to test the drivers to see who is good enough for the top seat at RedBull. Although, the team has won 2 races and multiple podiums over the years and the most recent win was with Gasly in Monza last year which for an Italian team is great news. The first win was also in Monza which makes Monza the teams lucky track. 

Gasly will be in the white and blue car for another year and he will try to prove that he deserves the RedBull seat again after being dropped for lack of performance in 2019+, but the hardcore fans will know the real situation that goes inside. Gasly will be joined by a Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda. The youngest Driver in the paddock and the first driver to be born in the 21st century. Yuki is in F1 early due to Honda’s involvement but he has talent and it will be interesting to see how he will perform in his 1st year of F1.

The car has relatively the same performance as last year, it did claim the 2nd fastest time in Testing but we never know how much it is in race pace. The time was done by the rookie, Tsunoda but he did use the DRS earlier than it was allowed and since it was allowed in testing there was no consequences. The team has a relatively experienced driver and 1 of 3 rookies this season and might be a good team to look out to for some interesting racing that can happen in the season.

AlphaTauri launches 2021 Formula 1 car, the AT02

Alfa Romero 

The first champions of F1, may not be the same team as in 1950 but the name is something that has been in the sport. 1 out of 2 individual teams of the sport and for what they do they have a decent place in the sport. The Ferrari engine power was not helping out in 2020 but they are definitely in a good time period. 

Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi will be the drivers driving for the team. Kimi is the most loved driver on the grid, its mainly because of his don’t care attitude and he always has been a consistent driver whenever he is racing. As for the Italian driver Giovinazzi, he is a good driver but not a great driver. He may have his work cut out this season if he needs to secure his seat as there are eyes on his seat from F2 drivers like Illiot.

The car for 2021 didn’t stand out much. It doesn’t seam to have much improvement but it is expected to be competitive in the back end of the midfield and taking every opportunity possible to score points this season. Last season wasn’t the best but when comparing to its main rival Hass they did okay and are probably expecting to be a bit closer to the midfield than they usually are. 

Alfa Romeo launches 2021 F1 car and revised livery - The Race

Hass

The only American based Team on the Grid. It’s been 5 years since the team had their debut race and they are not having the greatest of time. The team was struggling financially and had to take some measures that would keep the team going. After 2019 Hass had a massive downfall with sponsors falling down starting with the very strange sponsor, Rich Energy. After that the team has little to no sponsors and in 2020 after covid they had none. The team’s struggles were clear throughout the season and they took the move of dropping both drivers for 2021 and got 2 rookies in the aid of getting sponsors.

The son of the great Michael Schumacher, Mick will be making his Formula 1 debut with Hass. The 2020 F2 champion has a lot of eyes on him as he is looked up by every one cause of his father’s legacy. This may put him in unnecessary pressure and might be a problem. Mick is a good driver and he might not have the best car on the grid but he will get the most out of it. Joining Mick is the Russian driver Nikita Mazepin. Mazepin, who is probably the driver most fans hate after his acts last December which led to chaos within fans. Mazepin is know to be a very aggressive driver and we will have to see how he would behave this season. He has a lot of backlash so he will have to work hard and prove he’s worth.

The 2021 car livery was among the most talked among livery of the 2021 season as it represents the Russian flag after Mazepin’s father’s company who is the title sponsor for the team. The main concern is that the use of the Russian flag is banned from world sports and the team livery is an exact representation of the Russian Flag. As for the performance of Hass, they might be struggling a lot and its 2 rookies in the 2 seats and the lack of experience might hit them harder than they think it would. The car wasn’t something that stood out in testing either so we will have to see how the season pans out for them.

FIRST LOOK: Haas reveal fresh new livery for Schumacher and Mazepin's F1  debuts | Formula 1®

Williams

The family-owned team is no more. The iconic team was struggling a lot the last few years and had to sell the team. The new owners are an American Investment company who were generous enough to keep the name. 2020 was not a good season for the team as they are the only team not to score points, they came close finishing P11 on multiple occasions but never in the top 10. They are on an improving curve with them being significantly closer in 2020 when comparing to 2019.

The team is keeping the same line up of drivers for 2021. George Russell is in a very hot place as he has a bigger shot at the Mercedes seat for 2022 and he is a driver who takes every drop of performance from the Williams. The Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi didn’t perform great in his rookie year but he is expected to be better this season with experience under his belt. The duo will be performing to get points this season and possibly end the bad years the team had.

The car Williams brought seams to have an improvement. With a driver like Russell in the seat the team might be looking at multiple point finishes and maybe even a Q3 appearance. The team livery is something that was talked about in the Fan community with some saying it looks like a design from the F1 2020 game. Nontheless the team is looking positive and with the new management are planning to climb up the ladder and fight more rather than be in the back.

Williams displays 2021 F1 car with revised livery – Motorsport Week

There you have it, my expectations for the 2021 season. It is a long one but I wanted to cover the team, drivers and the car so you can be fully ready for the 2021 F1 season that will start racing on the 28th of March 2021. It’s going to be a close season with the top 2 teams and the midfield and there will be a lot of battles on track and a lot of drama when the silly season starts as well.

Cue the F1 theme song for the 2021 F1 Season!

Written by: Rtr. Theekshana Gunasekara

Edited by: Rtr. Lakshan Banneheke

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FeaturedGeneral

Parangiya Galu Giya

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The story starts when John Manuel, the King of Portugal assigns the explorer, Francisco De Almeida to conquer Taprobane (now known as Sri Lanka) in 1506 for its rich natural resources, condiments and other commercial products. In his letter, King John Manuel also writes that Fracisco De Almeida must dominate Taprobane and build a stronghold and also spread Christianity in Sri Lanka.

Francisco De Almeida explores the seas to find Taprobane, but fails continuously. He is then succeeded by his son, Lorenzo De Almeida who finds Taprobane while travelling with a fleet of ships towards Maldives, in order to capture Maldives. While travelling, he meets a fleet of ships sailed by Muslims, (Islamism was already spread in Maldives), and tries to chase them. The story states that during this incident, Lorenzo de Almeida was blown by a storm towards Sri Lanka. It is with this incident that the Portuguese are said to have first discovered what they called a ‘Beautiful, Prosperous Island Paradise’, which they soon learnt was Taprobane

For a long time we believed that Lorenzo De Almeida anchored in the port of Colombo. According to the story, King Dharma Parakramabahu, who was the eldest son of King Buwenakabahu, was informed of the arrival of the Portuguese. Subsequnetly, the king had requested to meet Lorenzo de Almeida at his Kingdom at Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, where he was taken to, accompanied by a troop of soldiers. Lorenzo De Almeida and his accompanies were taken on a circuitous route which took three days to reach Sri Jayewardenepura, a journey which in reality would have taken one hour. This incident gave rise to the well known proverb, Parangiya Kotte Giya Wage

But, did this really happen? 

In the 19th Century, Historian Donald William Furguson (1853 – 1910) who was born in Sri Lanka, identified a few loopholes in this story with the information he had, and decided to conduct a research on the History of the Portuguese landing in Sri Lanka. Subsequently, he found out that the story we learnt was wrong, and that Lorenzo de Almeida did not in fact land in Colombo. He is said to have anchored at the port of Galle, and been taken to the Galle Fort to meet the Ruler. Furthermore, it is interestingly stated that the Portuguese had been referring to the Galle Fort as ‘Court’, which the researcher believed would have later been mistakenly interpreted to be ‘Kotte’, around which the previous story was built. 

Doanld William Furguson had sent all his research work to Professor Mendis Rohanadeera (1931-2011), who studied the work and authored the book “1506 Parangiya Galu giya”, which is available for lending at the Sri Jayawardenepura University Library. In his book, Professor Mendis proves that Lorenzo De Almeida did not land in the port of Colombo and that it was indeed, the port of Galle. He also explains how this information was miscommunication. In the 1600’s Portuguese Historians priests Quetos and Queiros had documented details about the travels and history of Sri Lanka, which includes about how the Portuguese had visited the ‘court’ in Galle. Professor Mendis also identifies how this information reached Quetos and Queiros. This proves their story, that Portuguese lead by Lorenzo De Almeida in 1506, did not anchor in Colombo, but in Galle.

After Lorenzo De Almedia’s arrival back in Portugal, along with his historian Gaspar De Indica, he tells his father Fransisco De Almedia that he visited Sri Lanka, but could not capture the country or spread Christianity since he did not have a translator. Nevertheless, Fransisco De Almedia felt thoroughly accomplished that his son was able to find Sri Lanka (the task that he was assigned to do), and wrote a letter to King John Manuel exaggerating the whole incident. The letter was documented by King John Manuel’s Historian John de Baros (1520 AD), and it stated that Lorenzo De Almeida anchored off in Colombo, and went to Kotte to meet the king and declare war. Furthermore it stated that the king surrendered and Lorenzo De Almedia built a statue with the Christian cross and engraved that the Island was now under the rule of the Portuguese. This, my friends, is the story that has been told to us.

Written by: Rtr. Hasitha Jayasuriya

Edited by: Rtr. Kalani Siriwardena

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International Women’s Day

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There is no limit to what we, as women can accomplish -Michelle Obama-

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements, disregarding race, religion, nationality, culture and economic background. 

HISTORY

Back in the early 1900’s a great unrest and critical debate occurred amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality were spurring them to become more vocal and active in campaigning. In 1908, fifteen thousand women marched through New York demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America in 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed across the United States on February 28th until 1913, where it was changed to 8th of March and celebrated annually.

The idea to make the day International rose from a lady named Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, who agreed to her suggestion unanimously. It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, implying that this year we’re technically celebrating the 110th International Women’s Day. Proceedings were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The first theme adopted by the UN (in 1996) was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future”.

Colours that Symbolise International Women’s Day 

Purple, green and white are the colours of International Women’s Day. “Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity.” The colours originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the UK back in 1908.

Modern International Women’s Day

The global celebration of International Women’s Day is a time for reflection of how far women have come. With over a century of history, International Women’s Day is a growing movement centred around Unity and Strength

Various women including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities are usually invited to address various events on this day, including, seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners and breakfasts. The messages given at these events bring out various needful changes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in media, importance of education and career opportunities for women, overall awareness of women’s rights and promote equality. 

Many students in school and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. Some countries follow the custom of bringing gifts to their female teachers. Women receive small presents of appreciation from friends and family members. Many workplaces make a special celebrations for International Women’s Day through internal newsletters, notices, social media posts or by handing out promotional material.

The importance of International Women’s Day 

Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage. As the now-famous saying speaks, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” indicating that women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, we still see women and girls being denied them, often simply because of their gender.

Winning rights for women is much more than just giving opportunities to any individual woman or girl; it is also about changing how countries and communities think, speak and work. It involves changing laws and policies, winning hearts and minds, and investing in strong women’s organizations and movements.

The new Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations hold real promise to embed advances in women’s rights, and include a specific goal (Goal 5) for gender equality. Goal 5 is more broad-based than the last gender goal, and includes targets on ending gender-based violence, eliminating child marriage and female genital mutilation, and ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health. It also includes equal access to education, expanding women’s economic opportunities, and reducing the burdens of unpaid care work on women and girls. Now it is up to all of us to hold governments accountable for their commitments and make sure the goals are met!

Did you know?

  • Nearly 60% of women around the world work in the informal economy, earning less, saving less, and at greater risk of falling into poverty. 
  • Women earn 23% less than men globally.
  • Every 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence and 200 Million girls – women have suffered genital mutilation.
  • Women are under-presented at in decision making at all levels.

It is shocking to see that only 24.7% of health ministers are Female, despite Women representing 70% of health sector workers. Furthermore, women were also disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Women’s jobs were 1.8 times more vulnerable than those of their male counterparts. While women make up to 39% of the global workforce, they also account for approximately 54% of overall job losses during the pandemic. 

Women in leadership during the Covid 19 Pandemic 

Researchers found that women leaders face a gender double bind: they are penalized for being too masculine, but also penalized for being too feminine. Women leaders who flout gender expectations are labelled aggressive or pushy, while those who perform along gender expectations are labelled too nice or not taken seriously. 

Crises like pandemics offer an opportunity for women world leaders to reconcile this double bind. They have proved to be both decisive and strategic, as well as compassionate and nurturing. This is what people saw early in the pandemic with countries like New Zealand under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Arden, closing borders and instituting strict lockdowns, and leaders like Norway’s Erna Solberg, making a special appeal to children saying, “It’s okay to feel scared”.

International Women’s Day 2021

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is, “Choose To Challenge” indicating that, ‘A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change’. The crucial role played by women in the on going recovery from the COVID 19 Pandemic is being celebrated this International Women’s Day.

 “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”  

Today, we particularly pay tribute to the Women who have been playing at the forefront of this global crisis, including , Doctors, Nurses, Hospital staff, Members of the Tri Forces, Police, PHI and MOH officers, government officers, an National Leaders.

However, it is our duty to appreciate their hard work of all remarkable Women around the world, and take their lives as an inspiration for the young girls and women.

A few of the leading Ladies in Sri Lanka and around the world 

Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson – First female group CEO of a Public quoted conglomerate in Sri Lanka.

Bimshani Jasin Arachchi – Sri Lanka’s first and only Sri Lankan DIG (Deputy Inspector General) of Police.

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala – First Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest.

Niloo Jayatilake – Director / CEO of Softlogic Invest.

Otara Gunewardene –  Entrepreneur, animal welfare advocate, conservationist and philanthropist. She is the founder of ODEL , Embark and Otara Foundation.

Kamala Harris – United States’ first female vice president, the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American vice president.

Jacinda Ardern – Youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years.

Oprah Winfrey – Media Executive, actress, television producer, and philanthropist.

Kathrin Jansen – Head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer.

Serena Williams – Professional Tennis player who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and 4 Olympic Gold medals.

Gender Equality by 2030

This day is a time to reflect on the progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved Gender Equality.

We each have our part to play in that process!

So let’s make 2021 count for women and girls worldwide by bringing them one step closer to Gender Equality!

Rtr. Dinithi Wijayaratne 

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