France Sri Lanka Cultural Exchanges - Suriyakantha

  The bilingual site devoted to the cultural life in Sri Lanka and in France                                                        
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Le site bilingue consacré à la vie culturelle au Sri Lanka et en France

H O M E   /   I N  B R I E F



Sri Lanka / France












Fascination of the body

Paul Cézanne

In the Light of Gauguin


Jean de La Fontaine

Malraux / Segalen


Pigeon houses in Quercy






Death Penalty

Mental Health



Miniatures of Kangra, India


The emblem of the world heritage symbolises the interdependance between the world's cultural and natural diversity.
The square illustrates the human abilities and creativity, and the circle, the gifts from the nature.
The emblem is round as the earth and symbolises the protection of the human heritage.

6 April 2007 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
"Billions of people face shortages of food and water and increased risk of flooding."

“It’s the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit...”
People who are poor are least-equipped to be able to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and therefore in some sense this does become a global responsibility in my view.”
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Several delegations, including the US, Saudi Arabia, China and India, had asked for the final version to reflect less certainty than the draft...


Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, concluded the "Citizens of the Earth" Conference by launching the Paris Call fo action for global ecological governance Saturday February 3.

We, citizens from all over the globe, policy-makers, representatives from international and non-governmental organisations, scientists, business leaders, are sending out a solemn call for massive international action to face the environmental crisis and to promote growth that respects the environment.(...)

Saturday, 3 February 2007

  • Citizens of the Earth  

    Pix Janaka Samarakoon

  • ____________________

    "It is clear from the work presented that
    the risks of climate change may well be
    greater than we thought."
    Tony Blair

    The impacts of climate change are already being observed in a variety of sectors and there is greater clarity that these changes are being caused by human activities, mainly through release of greenhouse gases. In 2005 the UK Government hosted the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues associated with climate change. This volume presents the most recent findings from the leading international scientists that attended the conference. The topics addressed include critical thresholds and key vulnerabilities of the climate system, impacts on human and natural systems, socioeconomic costs and benefits of emissions pathways, and technological options for meeting different stabilisation levels of green- house gases in the atmosphere.

    The volume provides invaluable information for researchers in en- vironmental science, climatology, and atmospheric chemistry, policy-makers in governments and environmental organizations, and scientists and engineers in industry.

    Hardcover (March 2, 2006)
    Pub.: Cambridge University Press
    ISBN: 0521864712

  • Cambridge University Press  
  • Telegraph  
  • B.B.C.  

  • ____________________

    The "Garden of Asia" is losing its character

    Sri Lanka’s forest resources have been steadily declining over the years, from 70% of the total land area in 1900 to 24% in 1992 and further 22% in 1999. The destruction continues unabated.
    The average annual deforestation according to the Department of Forests is in the alarming range of approximately 13,000 hectares. Added to this the associated soil erosion, biodiversity loss, land degradation, water resources pollution and other environmental impli- cations to get the complete picture. We are far from the Garden of Asia category. In fact desertification might be an apt description in a few more years unless the trend is averted.

    Dilrukshi Handunnetti (The Morning Leader, Colombo, April 19, 2006)
    Pix: Prasanna Upajeewa




      Patric Nottret
      Robert Laffont (21 October 2004)
      ISBN : 2221099028

      "Poison vert"

      Patric Nottret
      Robert Laffont (May 21, 2002)
      ISBN: 2221093291

  • Deforestation

    140 000 square kms, i.e. the area of Greece, disappear each year.
    For example, Indonesia has lost 25 % of its forests in fifty years.


    "In Sri Lanka, deforestation is one of the main environmental and social problems.
    Forests yield various products and also have a vital role in the protection of soil and water resources, and of biodiversity. Unless planned action is taken to halt deforestation and forest degradation, there will be adverse impacts on the ability of the nation's forests to provide much-needed products and ecological security for the people. It is very much evident that the population increase has a direct impact to the declining of the forest cover."

    Miguel Bermeo - Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme.


    At Bagatelle Park, Frans Krajcberg,
    the man who howls with trees

    Taking "art for tree" as his slogan, Frans Krajcberg, the Polish born Brazilian sculptor, erects at Bagatelle some fifty works: weapons against the destruction of the amazonian forest.



    Maritime Archeology
    - La Mémoire Engloutie de Brunei
    : an Exhibition in Paris
    - Untouched treasures in watery graves : the story of a programme led by a joint Sri Lankan-Dutch team to salvage shipwrecks and bring to surface the country's buried heritage.

    Two books on Asian elephants

      "L'Ile aux éléphants"

      Jérôme Delcourt, Gérard Civet
      Arthaud ISBN 2700395670, November 2003.

      Naturalists, scientists, rangers, are fighting to save the 3000 savage elephants still living in Sri Lanka.

      "Tombeau pour l'éléphant d'Asie"

      Gérard Busquet, Jean-Marie Javron
      Chandeigne ISBN 2906462837, 2002.

      It is a very comprehensive book on the Asian elephant through the history.
      When this mythical animal, an important part of most of civilisations in Asia, is an endangered species, it is an age of humanity which is also dying.


      Clins d'Oeil
      Du Machu Picchu à Angkor

      (From Machu Picchu to Angkor)
      Cécile Beurdeley
      Published in aid of
      "Enfants du Monde - Droits de l'Homme."

    During her travels between 1954 and 1990, Cécile Beurdeley, who has developed a passion for photography, tried to grasp the beauty of humanity.

    Cécile Beurdeley has permanently seen the fact to be closed as a sclerosis, the life as a creative process, the planet as a universal patrimony. The photographs of Cécile Beurdeley - without a professional aim - are essentially a spontaneous seizure : glimpses on the world, pleasure of letting go to the seduction of the subjects.

    In this selection of prints, there is an attraction for an exoticism that is understood as richness, diversity or even complementarity of the always-respected differences : ages, sexes and cultures. Conversely, the permanency of the cultural archetypes can also be apprehended, just as the universality of the emotions and social behaviours or can be discovered some physical similarities between populations.

    The bewitchment that is provoked by the world of childhood is in line with an existential exoticism, a nostalgic strangeness that an adult feels in his quest of authenticity.

    Afghanistan, December 30.

    Restoration of the Bamiyan Buddhas,
    priority of the new government

      The Minister of Culture and Information of the new Afghan government, Raheen Makhdoom claims that his government has placed the restoration of the Bamiyan Buddhas among the priorities. These emblematic figures of the Afghan culture were destroyed by the Talibans and this incident threw the world into turmoil.

      The two giant statues of Bamiyan (Central Afghanistan), which are more than 1 500 years old, have been destroyed on March 10, 2001 by the explosives. This event woke up the international community and, in several capitals, provoked many demonstrations of solidarity with the anti- Taliban resistance.

      Since, a team of archeologists has visited the place, particularly in order to protect the statues' feet, which are quite preserved, from the winter weather.

  • Read more.

    Sri Lanka

    Birds of Ceylon - G. M. Henry
    Facsimile edition, Lake House Printers and Publishers, Colombo

    The lovers of birds and nature will enjoy this reedition of this classic book, firstly published in 1955.
    G. M. Henry was working as an assistant of entomology at the National Museum, Colombo.
    Read more

    Previous editions

    Ceylon Jungle Fowl  (Sinhalese : weli-kukula).
    (Gallus lafayetii)

  • A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon, illustrated by the author, 432 pages, 30 plates (27 coloured), 124 text illustrations, map on end-papers, Oxford University Press, London, 1955.

  • A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon, illustrated by the author with 30 half-tone plates of which 27 are coloured and 136 black and white drawings, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, London, 1971.

  • A Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka, illustrated by the author and his son, including entries for 44 newly recorded species, 534 pages, 32 colour photographs, 136 line drawings, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, London, 1998.


      Sri Lanka : A Birds' Paradise?

      Without hesitation we can say yes, if we consider the abundance and the diversity of Sri Lanka's birdlife. About 431 recorded species of which 251 are resident and no less than 21 are endemic, such as the Ceylon Jungle Fowl that you can find when you stay in Kandalama, Bundala or Uda Walawe.

      Neverthless, we have to keep in mind that this heritage is in danger as a result of deforestation, hunting and environmental pollution.


      Sri Lanka's Flora and Fauna
      Sri Lanka's National Parks and Sanctuaries.

      ...a paradise for bird watchers

      Two active members of the 'French Society for the Protection of Birds' - Barry Jaggers and his wife Claudine, French nationals - recently visited Sri Lanka for the third time.

      They were of the opinion that Sri Lanka had great potential and could be promoted as a destination for international bird watchers.

      Unlike in the rest of the world, birds could be seen in great abundance throughout the year in many parts of the country.


      From the 'Journal of South Asian Natural History' to 'Zeylanica'.

      The journal of the Wildlife Heritage Trust (WHT) of Sri Lanka back with a new name that says it all. Zeylanica, as the Journal is now called, will devote its pages exclusively to Sri Lanka thanks largely to the rapid growth of natural science research in the island.

      WHT sources said Zeylanica will be published two times a year. Each issue will contain more than 200 pages. The content comprises papers and monographs representing previously unpublished and original research.

      Although Zeylanica is primarily aimed at the international scientific community, WHT hopes to attract a fair number of non-academic subscribers who are interested in local developments in conservation biology. Articles in Zeylanica impinge directly on conservation issues and provide baseline data conservationists and planners need to manage the island's dwindling wild habitats.

      Many past issues of the 'Journal of South Asian Natural History', the former publication of the Trust, which are now out of print have become valuable collectors' items and WHT is hopeful that current issues of Zeylanica too will become prized possessions in the future.

      Zeylanica is widely recognised as one of South Asia's best scientific journals with a truly world-class content and presentation. The board of editors led by Rolex laureate Rohan Pethiyagoda includes eminent local and foreign biologists. Its articles are widely abstracted in international science abstracting services. Zeylanica also abstracts papers published abroad, which are nevertheless relevant to Sri Lanka.

      Zeylanica is a must for nature lovers who want to keep abreast with the latest discoveries in natural sciences in Sri Lanka. For example, the current issue introduces no less than three new genera of freshwater crabs endemic to Sri Lanka. The editors make sure that each page of every issue is a voyage of discovery that both the scientist and the layman will enjoy.

      Reference : Pramod de Silva, Daily News, Thursday, 16 August 2001



    • Afghanistan : the giant Buddhas are destroyed. - February 2001
    • A prehistoric cave of major importance has been discovered on the site of Cussac, in Dordogne, France. - 2001
    • Exhibition of traditional watercraft at Colombo Museum - 2001