Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vegetarianism in Hinduism

This article stresses the fundamental concept of adhering to vegetarianism by the Hindus

It also highlights and tries to justify animal slaughter/sacrifice to some extent in accordance with the Vedas stating that "killing of animals and eating of their flesh are only provided in the Vedas for sacrificial purposes and that the Vedic mantras and rites are considered so effectual in themselves that the souls of the animals offered for sacrifice are purified and despatched at once to some form of heaven or other, while the performers of the sacrifice are given some form of grace or other in a ‘secular plane’".

A lot of people feel that if it has been stated so in the Vedic mantras, it is sheer nonsense. We, born as human beings, are blessed by our Creator to possess ‘intuition’ to decide what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ unlike animals which lack the attributes of speech and perhaps, judgement!

Nothing could be more horrifying than seeing an animal undergoing torture when it is slaughtered for its flesh for ‘consumption’ or ‘sacrifice’.

The folly of animal sacrifice has now been realised by most right-minded Hindus and animal sacrifice has been banned in many Hindu temples though I was highly saddened to watch quite recently on a television programme the most cruel slaughter of goats by chopping off their necks with a sword as a ritual of animal sacrifice in a Hindu shrine in Nepal. It was horror indeed!

In this context I would like to quote the late Swami Sivananda (a medical practitioner himself), who attained ‘enlightenment’ at Rishikesh, India) for the benefit of those who value and treasure ‘Ahimsa’ (compassion) and ‘Metha’ (loving kindness) or reverence for all life in general.

"In the Hindu view of life, the real value is placed upon the moral and spiritual worth of the man. Moreover, flesh- eating involves the exercising of cruelty which is not an elevating virtue. It is a bestial quality. It degrades man. Cruelty is condemned by all right-thinking men".

Thus the cruel slaughter of animals and flesh-eating make them abhorrent to all right-thinking people. People who are slaves to flesh-eating cannot it give up because they have become addicted to it. Hence, they try to justify the habit by devious arguments.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Knowledge city at Henegama, Gampaha

The Public Private Partnership Unit of the BOI arranged an interactive meeting recently on the ‘Knowledge City’ at Henegama, Gampaha District. This meeting was arranged with the representatives of the education sector, construction sector and financial institutions. Ms. Pauline Matthias, Executive Director (Finance) & Head of the PPP Unit of the BOI made a presentation.

The proposed Knowledge City Henegama will be developed on public private partnership basis where the development of the infrastructure will be carried out by a selected developer on Design, Finance, Built and Operate Basis (DFBO basis). It is proposed that international and local educational institutes will locate their facilities at this city thereby catering to the tertiary education in Sri Lanka. Statistics reveal that there is a huge scope for commercial run educational institutes who can award foreign degrees with the affiliation of recognized foreign universities. It is also expected that this ‘Knowledge City’ will attract foreign students from abroad, such as Maldives and India.

The location selected is a 122 acre land plot belonging to the BOI situated 33 kms from the Colombo City having access through the Kandy-Balummahara Junction. The BOI propose to carry out a bidding process to select the developer through an international bidding process. The estimated investment is around US$ 75 Million. The self contained city is envisaged to have common library facilities, sports grounds, gym, health care facilities, food courts, hostels, super markers and residential units.

BOI’s vision is that the ‘Knowledge City’ Henegama will be a destination of education and position Sri Lanka as a centre of excellence for learning and innovation.

nterested parties could contact Ms. Christine Kuruppumulege on 2427232 or e-mail for further information.

Re-imagine the world of tomorrow

The inauguration of the 29th National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka was held last Thursday night at the Cinnamon Grand hotel highlighting the theme ‘Re-imagine- Creating a Successful Business in Challenging Times by Thinking Differently’.

Starting off his address the Chief guest at the event High Commissioner of India Mr. Alok Prasad said it was time to “Re-imagine what the world of tomorrow will look like,” and went on to say that it was important to firstly reconsider our attitudes in the past in order to reassess and thereby rectify our mistakes as well as correcting our past imaginations or predictions of the future. He explained how at the time the soviets fell the whole world expected America to become a dominating empire much like the Roman Empire. However recent events have shown that this empire has now crashed.

Mr. Prasad said he believed that, “one steady inescapable trend ignored by the whole world had been Asia. Today, however India and China have become two giants to be reckoned with.” He predicted that the years to come would be the “coming Asian Century.”

The Chief Guest also believed that it was more a “re-emergence of India and China” as opposed to an emergence. Since in the past, prior to colonial times, over 75% of the worlds GDP was from China and India. He said that perhaps the re-emergence of Asia was a “correction of the anomalies of the colonial period.”

Mr. Prasad went on to say that none of the development or dominance we seek will “come to us automatically” we would have to work for it and deliver on the promise that Asia had great potential. However he did admit that the Asian regions “progress towards inter-connectedness was dissatisfactory,” and that considering other region our trade of was “insufficient in terms of cultural knowledge and monetary trade,” and are more likely to go outside of the region for commercial trade. Nevertheless India and Sri Lanka was sufficiently connected as evidence to his fact 70% of the goods in and out of the Colombo port were to and from India. Drawing upon the words of the Chairman of the 29th National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse, that Sri Lanka was “no longer India’s little brother but its Twin brother.”

Former Precedent Partner of KPMG Ford Rhodes Thornton and Co. Mr. Ranjan Asirwatham was the keynote speaker for the evening. Mr. Asirwatham spoke on the growth of the accounting industry and the importance of an ACCA qualification.

The conference’s Technical sessions are conducted over two days by a group of eminent and respected corporate personalities through six main presentations titled ‘creating opportunities’, developing a blue ocean strategy’, the differentiating factor’, ‘ navigating the vortex’, ‘forward focus’ and numbers to strategy’.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jet Airways' JetPrivilege wins Top Honours with Seven Awards

Wins the Coveted ‘Program of the Year’ for the Second Year Consecutively Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege, India’s largest and most recognized frequent flyer programme, won 9 Freddie Awards at the 20th Annual presentation ceremony of the Freddie Awards 2007, held in Wyndham Phoenix, USA on April 24, 2008.

JetPrivilege, which competed for Top Honours in the intensely competitive Japan, Pacific, Asia and Australia region against some of the best known airlines in the world, emerged victorious in seven categories and runner-up in two categories. JetPrivilege bagged-in 9 Freddie Awards under all the nominated categories.

Jet Airways, Jet Privilege won these highly coveted awards for Program of the Year, Best Customer Service, Best Elite Level, Best Affinity Credit Card, Best Bonus, Best Website and Best Award. Jet Airway’s JetPrivilege received the second position in the categories of Best Member Communications and Best Award Redemption.

Commenting on the honour, Mr. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, said, “On the occasion of our resounding victory at the Freddie Awards 2007, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to providing our JetPrivilege members the best in comfort, benefits and privileges, in keeping with their expectations from India’s largest and best loyalty program, be it in the Indian or International skies.”

More details

Saturday, April 19, 2008

No fuel hike immediately - Fowzie

Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A.H.M. Fowzie said fuel prices will not be increased immediatley but the Ministry will use hedging and other market tools to keep prices stable. He was addressing a meeting in connection with the profits of over US$ 5.4 million made by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) last month by oil hedging.

Minister A.H.M. Fowzie

The Minister said the country has gained over US$ 10 million from six oil hedgings that commenced early last year and that the money was used to reduce CPC losses and maintain price stability.

“The Ministry has taken steps to minimise waste and curtail malpractices in the CPC and increase profits. The Sapugaskanda oil refinery will be upgraded with assistance from Iran”, he said.

Fowzie said that it will not be a surprise if fuel prices hit US$ 175 per barrel this year and that many countries are resorting to oil hedging to reduce losses. Despite the gains by oil hedging the CPC has incurred a loss of Rs. 7,815 million this year.

The Ministry will commence marketing lube oil, gas and bunker fuel this year. Tenders have been called for 40,000 gas cylinders and with the requisite number of cylinders the CPC will market gas at a cheaper rate.

“Tenders have been called for oil exploration in Mannar and the company that gives the highest returns will be offered the contract”, the Minister said.

He said that he will present a framework on sharing losses by member countries at the OPEC conference to be held in Italy. The conference will be on the dialogue between the producer and consumer.

“Stability of oil prices is essential for democracy to survive. If oil prices continue to rise causing a burden to countries people will rise against governments and help to set up dictatorship regimes”, he said.

CPC Chairman, Asantha de Mel said the CPC opted for the lowest hedging so that the risk will be less if fuel prices drop in the global market.

Oil hedging is a dangerous game and it is not rewarding, he said.

The CPC commenced oil hedging with the Citi Bank, a leading provider of hedging solutions to manage high oil prices.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Now this is some drink !

My Technorati Profile

Technorati Profile

Recently started to use the services of technocrati as one of my friends suggested me to have a Technorati Profile.

Technorati Profile as its a good website for bloggers. It gives all information on blogging and lets you to publish content and get famous amongst millions of other technocrati users. So watch my Technorati Profile and help me be famous too.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rowan Atkinson LIVE - A Warm Welcome

Clip courtesy..... DeoxySynchro89 and gsdesigne.....

If you had watched Mr.Bean before and haven't watched this video yet. Well, it's not too late to do so.

This is a "Live" performance by Rowan Atkinson, just before he started his career and came to be known as Mr.Bean.

The first clip takes place in a HELL. And the master is, well you-know-who. There aren't many action involved except the speech by the devil itself.

An extraordinarily brilliant piece..... worth watching....

Now since he had a go wouldn;t be fair to leave the "holey one" out... would it ??

So this is the other piece...

Clip courtesy..... aibo.....

Bloody hell [pun intended]....why don't you guys shut up and enjoy this... or the guy above [appears that they have changed places, just for the show].....

It just is not like the holey-one [pun intended, forgiven !] to go first....

Please for "you know whose" sake, this is good humor and please don't turn this in to religious debate......

Just enjoy the comedy.....

Lastly, apart from Mr. Rowan Atkinson, any reference to any living person is purely co-incidential....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Good morning, Lanka

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is also famous for its lush tea plantations, (think about an English Breakfast at a five star hotel), Dutch forts and untouched tropical beaches.

Mystically tucked beneath the southern tip of India, the tropical island of Sri Lanka is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia.

Lying between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, 'The Pearl of the Indian Ocean' packs everything from sandy beaches to lofty mountains, a geographical diversity that most other destinations can only dream of.

Founded on over 2500 years of rich cultural heritage, the island offers the chance to experience the splendor of a bygone era. From sprawling irrigation tanks to magnificent dagobas, Sri Lanka has enough ancient sites to excite even the most jaded of archaeologists.

Yes, there may be a civil war going on, but who cares……the tourists still flock despite the travel warnings about visiting the country. A day after you arrive, an explosion may go off and there may be roadblocks everywhere…but, it's still reasonably safe for visitors.

For those who know South Africa, Sri Lanka reminds you of a mixture of the KwaZulu Natal North Coast, plus Umhlanga and more like Tongaat and Stanger.

Basically, it's bustling, busy, hot and humid.

The tourist industry has suffered as a result of the violence and the tsunami three years ago, but it still lures adventurous holidaymakers and those who prefer an un-packaged destination And, believe it or not, it is one of the more peaceful places, though it’s classified as violent and it sounds almost mystical, but there is something about Sri Lanka that do touch a few rather deep, that they stay on.

They say Sri Lanka is a gentler, kinder version of India. But, this itself is enough of an assault on the senses. There's not much prettiness around. But there are similarities and despite it all, it is all rather charming in a faded colonial sort of way. And for an Indian he is totally at home.

For the westerner, the restaurants appear friendly; the prices are dirt cheap and the fare surprisingly delicious.

There's little to do at night for those who are not night-clubbers, so you can head for bed early and wake up to a slap-up English breakfast waiting for me with a cup of the finest Ceylon tea, bacon and eggs, a basket of toast and a platter of freshly cut fruit.

What a way to start the day.

Good morning, Lanka !!!!

A holiday in Sri Lanka is not simply a vacation, but an experience that will change the way you look at Asia itself.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thought for tomorrow

Never argue with Idiots. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vodka And Sermon !

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous that he could hardly speak. After mass, he asked the monsignor how he had done.The monsignor replied, " When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice.

At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.

He proceeded to talk up a storm.

Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass

6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.

8) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the $$=+ out of him.

9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10)We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."

11)What Jesus said at the last supper was "take this bread and eat it for it's my body." He did not say.. Eat me

12)The Virgin Mary is not called " Mary with the Cherry,.

13)The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.

14)Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St.Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thought for tomorrow

A Little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter to hold her hand so that she wouldn't fall into the river.

The little girl, however, in return, asked the father to hold her hand.

"What's the difference?" asked the puzzled father.

"There's a big difference," replied the little girl. "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go."

In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.

So hold the hand of the person who loves you rather than expecting them to hold yours...

This message although short, carries a lot of feelings.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Opening For A Gynecologist's Assistant

A young man goes into the Job Centre in Jacksonville, Florida , and sees a card advertising for a Gynecologist's Assistant.

Interested he goes to learn more - 'Can you give me some more details about this?' he asks the guy behind the desk.

The Job Centre man sorts through his files & replies - 'Oh yes here it is: The job entails you getting the lady patients ready for the gynecologist.
You have to help them out of their underwear, lie them down and carefully wash their genital regions.

You then apply shaving foam and gently shave off all their pubic hair then rub in soothing oils so that they're ready for the gynecologist's examination. There's an annual salary of $45,000, but you're going to have to go to Oxford, Mississippi.

That's about 620 miles fom here.'

'Oh why, is that where the job's is located?'

'No sir - that's where the end of the applicants line is!'

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Keells Super opens at Marine Drive

Probably the only outlet by the sea with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean, Keells Super opens it’s 33rd outlet at No. 33, Upatissa Mw, Colombo 04 on Saturday 29th March 2008.

Situated 200 meters from the old passport office, the outlet carries a wide range of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood along with regular groceries and household items.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Think, Believe, Dream and Dare....

An eight-year-old boy approached an old man in front of a wishing well, looked up into his eyes, and asked:

"I understand you're a very wise man. I'd like to know the secret of life."

The old man looked down at the youngster and replied: "I've thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words:

The first is Think... Think about the values you wish to live your life by.

The second is Believe... Believe in yourself based on the thinking you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.

The third is Dream... Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.

The last is Dare... Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values.

And with that, Walter E. Disney said to the little boy, "Think, Believe, Dream and Dare."

Posted by Chinyu DeSilva.......

A lighter view into above.......

If life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life, then let's all get wasted and have the time of our lives.

Saudi grants Rs 2.5 bn to health sector

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to provide a soft loan of Saudi Riyal 75 million (Rs 2.2 billion) for the construction of an Epilepsy Hospital and a supplementary loan of Saudi Riyal 11 million (Rs 320 million ) for the construction of a Neuro-Trauma Centre at the Colombo General Hospital. The two loans will be provided through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).

The new Epilepsy Hospital will be a specialised facility for epilepsy patients with a capacity of 242 beds and facilities required for intensive care and inpatient care treatment. The project includes the construction of a new seven storied building with a total floor area of 15,000 sq.m within the premises of the Colombo National Hospital and the provision of medical equipment, including MRI and CT Scanners and X-Ray machines.

The hospital consists of operation theatres, intensive care units, high dependency unit, male and female post-operative wards, a pediatric ward, and a neuro-surgical unit. At present there are no such facilities to care for epilepsy patients.

In 2002, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided a loan of Saudi Riyal 45 million (Rs 1.1 billion) for the construction of the Neuro -Trauma Centre at the Colombo General Hospital and the construction of the building is nearly completed. The proposed supplementary loan (Rs 320 million) will finance the procurement of equipment which are required for the centre.

To date, the total amount of loans extended by the Saudi Fund for Development to Sri Lanka amounts to Saudi Riyal 404 million, equivalent to approximately US$ 108 million. Further, a number of new projects are under consideration for financing by the Saudi Fund.

The Saudi Fund assures its continued support for the development programme of Sri Lanka.

The Agreements for the two loans were signed at the Ministry of Finance and Planning by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and H.E. Eng.Yousef Al Bassam, Vice Chairman, Saudi Fund for Development on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SriLankan Airlines set to fly on “SmiLes”

A top official of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines said yesterday that there will not be a major change in the airline’s operations though the management would change from March 31 when the contract with Emirates would end.

In short, it indicated that Lankans are capable of running the national carrier - SriLankan Airlines

SriLankan Airlines Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales Manoj Gunawardena who talked to journalists at the launch of the airlines frequent flyer programme ‘SmiLes’ yesterday said the operations of airline would be the same though there would be a new owner and a new board of Directors.

Gunawardena said some routes would be scrutinized while more routes would be increased where possible. He said pulling out of Zurich and other destinations had nothing do with the lapsing of the contract as it was done long before the contract came to an end.

Commenting on the future of the airline without Emirates he said Sri Lankans are capable of handling the airline well. “I am sure Emirates too held the same opinion as it wouldn’t have opted out if it thought Lankans aren’t capable,” he pointed out.

With regard to the present situation where pilots and others have started to leave the company he said the Head of Human Resources would handle the matter.

SriLankan announced the launch of ‘SmiLes’ commencing April 1 2008, its new frequent flyer program which promises a wide range of exciting rewards for passengers of Sri Lanka’s award-winning National Carrier.

The airlines previous frequent flyer program Skywards ends on March 31, as SriLankan’s management changes hands.

“SmiLes will be positioned as ‘the Frequent Flyer Programme that Rewards and Delights.’ It will open the door to a world of rewards for our passengers.” Mr. Gunawardene said commenting on the new frequent flyer programme.

Mr. Gunawardena added: “SmiLes will be introducing a number of partner airlines and other companies which will offer members a choice to both earn and burn miles for a variety of goods and services. These will range from hotel stays to bank services, retailers, and especially SriLankan Holidays - the airline’s leisure arm,” he added.

“SriLarikan’s smiling airline staff, both in the air and on the ground, have given the airline a global reputation for Warmth, Caring and friendliness,”. Hence the name SmiLes,” said Mr. Gunawardena.

SmiLes will have three tiers of membership — Gold, Silver, and Blue — according to how many miles are accrued. Every mile flown would be credited to his or her SmiLes account as one mile.

All members can exchange their miles for rewards such as free air tickets to in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East; and upgrades. They also have a wide range of other benefits such as pie-assigned seating and priority wait-listing.

Gold and Silver members are entitled to even more exciting benefits. These include the use of the airline’s lounge at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, priority check-in, free excess baggage (up to 12 kg for Silver and 16 kg for Gold), priority baggage delivery, family bonus, and fast track facility (for Gold members).

Silver membership is for those who earn over 25,000 miles or fly a minimum of 20 sectors within a calendar year. Gold membership is for those with more than 50,000 miles or 40 sectors within a calendar year.

A passenger will be able to become a member of smiles by filling out a form which would be available at SriLankan ticket offices here and overseas, Bandaranaike International Airport, on board flights or at SmiLes Service Center at World Trade Center Colombo.

The Existing Skywards members will have a choice of transferring their Skywards Miles to SmiLes in full or part.

Article Courtesy : Yohan Perera

Bush says 4,000 US deaths in Iraq will 'merit the sacrifice'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Marking a grim milestone, a determined President George W. Bush says the lives of 4,000 U.S. military men and women who have died in Iraq "were not lost in vain." The White House made clear that additional American troops will not be pulled out of the war soon.

A roadside bomb in Baghdad killed four U.S. soldiers Sunday night, which pushed the death toll to 4,000.

That number pales compared with the number of Iraqi casualties or American dead of other lengthy U.S. wars. It is much higher than many Americans, including Bush, ever expected after the swift U.S. invasion of Iraq five years ago.

Bush proclaimed the end of major combat operations in Iraq in May 2003. Almost all the U.S. deaths there have happened since then.

"One day people will look back at this moment in history and say, 'Thank God there were courageous people willing to serve, because they laid the foundations for peace for generations to come,"' Bush said after a State Department briefing about long-term diplomacy efforts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trade deficit doubles to US$ 611mn

The Central Bank said that the trade deficit increased to US$ 611 million in January 2008 which is a year-on-year increase of 104.6 percent as a result of the significant increase in the expenditure on imports.

Total exports in January 2008 amounted to US dollars 565 million compared to US dollars 489.5 million in January 2007.

The bank said that total expenditure on imports amounted to US dollars 1,176 million in January 2008, compared to US dollars 788 million in January 2007.

Exports increased by 15.4 per cent, year-on-year, in January 2008 along with a 41 per cent growth in Agricultural exports while tea exports, which were adversely affected by reduced production owing to labour unrest in January 2007, made a significant contribution of 38 per cent to the growth in total exports in January 2008, as a result of both the volume of export and the export price of tea increasing further, on a year-on-year basis, the Central Bank said.

"Tea fetched a monthly average export price of US dollars 3.83 a kilogram in January 2008; the highest recorded at that time," the bank said.

" The export price of rubber also increased further in January 2008, resulting in a monthly average price of US dollars 2.70 a kilogram. The growth in the volume of rubber exports during this period could be partly attributed to this increase in the export price of rubber.

"Industrial exports accounted for about 28 per cent of the growth in total exports in January 2008, with exports of garments and textiles expanding further by around 4 per cent. Amongst other key categories of industrial exports, rubber products and diamonds and jewellery recorded significant growth, but exports of machinery and equipment and food, beverages and tobacco contracted. The Central Bank said that expenditure on imports increased by 49.2 per cent in January 2008.

"The rise in petroleum prices as reflected in the monthly average import price of petroleum, which rose to US dollars 92.7 a barrel in January 2008; the highest recorded up to then, impacted on import expenditure, the increase in expenditure on imports is partly a reflection of the fact that there were no imports of crude oil in January 2007.

"Non-oil imports increased at a relatively lower rate of 19.1 per cent in January 2008.

"With respect to consumer goods imports, which grew by 38 per cent, year-on-year, in January 2008, price increases were recorded in relation to several key categories of food items such as rice and wheat. A further significant increase in the volume of imports was recorded in respect of rice, year-on-year. Hence, the value of rice imports increased significantly in January 2008, driven by increases in both the volume and the import price.

" Expenditure on imports of sugar increased due to increased volumes of imports. Imports of other consumer goods such as medical and pharmaceutical products and motor cars and cycles also increased in January 2008, contributing to the increase in total expenditure on imports."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Definition of Politics

Son: Dad, I have a special report for school. Can I ask you a question?
Dad: Sure son, what's the question ?

Son: What is politics ?

Dad: Well son, let's take are home for an example. I am the wage earner, so let's call me, the management. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so let's call her, the government. We take care of you and your needs, so let's call you, the people. We'll call the maid, the working class and your baby brother, the future. Understand ?

Son: I'm not really sure dad, I'll have to think about it.

That night, the boy is awakened by his baby brother's crying, so he went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had a heavily soiled diaper, the boy went to his parent's room and found his mother fast asleep. He went to the maid's room, where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy's knocking was totally unheard. The boy went back to his room and went to sleep. The next morning....

Son: Dad, I think I understand politics.

Dad: That's great son, explain it to me in your own words.

Son: While the management is screwing the working class, the government is fast asleep, the people are being completely ignored and the future is full of shit.

For those who do not want a long drawn out explanation...

Politics = Poly + Ticks.............In other words;

Poly = Many
Tic(k)s = Blood sucking creatures

Getting to the top

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been to those meetings where someone wants over 100%.

How about achieving 103%? Here's a little math that might prove helpful.

What is this success formula that makes one achieve 100%?


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11 = 98%

11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96%


1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%


2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103%

So, it stands to reason that hardwork and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there, but bullshit will put you over the top.

And look how far .........

1 19 19 11 9 19 19 9 14 7 = 118%

will take you.

This is somthing to be made note for those smooth talkers.....

Now as an afterthought....... this is mainly for those graduating......

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holey Cow !

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.

He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.

He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.

Getting A little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck.

Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck Square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” Then she whispered to him, “ Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go Fishing and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make Supper.” Sally just smiled and said,” Well that’s all right because Johnny told me that he wanted to help.” She whispered again, remember the duck? “So Sally Went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, He finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I Love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you. “

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done...? And the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ...whatever it is....You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing..... He has seen your whole life.

He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He’s just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.

The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God’s grace and Mercy that we are saved.

God is at the window

Now, it ain't fair without giving the Devil his due.......

So, just as an afterthought……and why is that the.Hot Stuff has all the fun….. read on....

One beautiful Sunday morning the tiny town of Smithsvale wakes up and goes to church. Before the service starts most of the congregation have seated themselves. They're all chattering with their neighbours when -Shazam - Satan himself appears at the altar in flames.

Naturally, the townspeople erupt in chaos, with people fleeing the church, left, right and center...except for Bill.
Now Santana seems confused. He walks up to Bill and says, "Don't you know who I am?".

Bill replies, "Aye, I do".

Bewildered, Satan asks, "So, you aren't afraid of me then?".

"No I'm not." replies Bill calmly.

By now, Satan's melon is twisted beyond all recognition, Why the hell not ? enquires Hot Stuff ..... to which Bill replies, "Because I've been married to your sister for 25 years. !!!

Now following this with another afterthought... only then it would do justice to above !

Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Bill Gates all died in a plane crash and went to meet their maker.

The supreme deity turned to Al and asked, tell what is important about yourself. Al responded that he felt that the earth was the ultimate importance and that protecting the earth's ecological system was most important. God looked to Al and said, " I like the way you think, come and sit at my left hand".

God then asked Bill Clinton what he revered most. Bill Clinton responded that he felt people and their personal choices were most important. God responded, " I like the way you think, come and sit at my right hand".

God then turned to Bill Gates, who was staring at him indignantly. God asked "What is your problem Bill Gates?"

Bill Gates responded " I think you are sitting in my chair".


Lanka, India power transfer project feasibility report soon

The feasibility study for the proposed US $ 450 million mega undersea power transmission link between India and Sri Lanka is slated to be ready shortly.

Sources said the 200 kilometer long submarine cable would enable India to export electricity to Sri Lanka and is likely to be set up with a capacity to wheel around 1,000 MW of electricity.

The report on the high voltage direct current link between the two countries is being prepared by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), which had earlier estimated that it can set up the link in around 40 months once all clearances are in place. The link is likely to connect Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Anuradhapura.

While a joint steering committee has been set up to oversee the project, a task force comprising representatives of Union Power Ministry, central electricity authority and PGCIL on the Indian side and the Sri Lankan Energy Ministry and Ceylon Electricity Board has been firmed up to study the feasibility report and make recommendations to the committee.

Officials said that Indian utilities could get higher tariffs from electricity supplies to the country. Initially, surplus power would be transmitted from India to Sri Lanka using the link. They added that with NTPC, already working on a 500 MW coal fired plant in Sri Lanka, wheeling power from Sri Lanka to India could also be a possibility over the long term.

India currently has transmission links with only Bhutan, as part of the 1,040 MW Tala hydroelectric power evacuation systems.

The proposal to link up countries in the South Asian region is being seen as a forerunner to the proposed Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation power transmission network, which is under consideration.

John Keells awards scholarships to Moratuwa undergraduates

John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation launched a scheme to grant scholarships to students reading for an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Transport and Logistics Management (BSc (T&LM) Hons.) at a ceremony held recently at the Cinnamon Grand.

John Keells Holdings PLC, Romesh David, President, Transportation and IT Groups, commented, "JKH is delighted to have found a partner as responsive and proactive as we are in the University of Moratuwa.

In addition to fully sponsoring both the English language programme and the mentoring programme for all first year under graduates, JKH have undertaken to award scholarships to students in all four years of the degree program.

For students in the first year we offer up to 5 scholarships based on economic need. In the second, third and fourth years we award in each year 7 scholarships to the students based on academic excellence and involvement in extra curricular activities.

When all four batches are in place this will amount to a total of 26 scholarships a year! Additionally, we have made a commitment to place at least 5 students from each graduating batch in a John Keells Group company."

The inaugural awards ceremony for the John Keells Holdings English Language Programme for the undergraduates was also held at this event.

Fifty students came forward to receive their awards at a ceremony that recognised their value and marked a stepping-stone towards their lives as world-class professionals in their chosen industry.

The English language programme that had served to enhance their capabilities had been arranged and implemented by the Transportation Group of John Keells Holdings PLC, through the John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, said, "I am extremely impressed by the commitment show by John Keells Holdings towards the Transport and Logistics Management degree programme."

The 4-year, undergraduate honours degree programme in Transport and Logistics Management (BSc (T&LM) Hons) at the University of Moratuwa was commenced in 2006.

The programme of study was designed to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to equip undergraduate students to face the modern day challenges of a career in management with specialisation in the fields of Aviation, Shipping, Logistics and Supply Chain Management or Public Transport.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke, 90, Science Fiction Writer, Dies

Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90.

Rohan de Silva, an aide, confirmed the death and said Mr. Clarke had been experiencing breathing problems, The Associated Press reported. He had suffered from post-polio syndrome for the last two decades.

The author of almost 100 books, Mr. Clarke was an ardent promoter of the idea that humanity’s destiny lay beyond the confines of Earth. It was a vision served most vividly by “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the classic 1968 science-fiction film he created with the director Stanley Kubrick and the novel of the same title that he wrote as part of the project.

His work was also prophetic: his detailed forecast of telecommunications satellites in 1945 came more than a decade before the first orbital rocket flight.

At the time of his death he was working on another novel, “The Last Theorem,” Agence France-Presse reported......

One of his closest relationships was with Leslie Ekanayake, a fellow diver in Sri Lanka, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1977. Mr. Clarke shared his home in Colombo with his friend’s brother, Hector, his partner in the diving business; Hector’s wife, Valerie; and their three daughters.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anura Bandaranaike, MP passes away

Anura Bandaranaike, MP, yesterday passed away at his official residence Visumpaya, after a prolonged illness.

The only son of two Prime Ministers, S.W.R.D and Sirimavo, Anura, a fiery orator in both Sinhala and English, first entered Parliament in 1977 as the second MP for Nuwara Eliya-Maskeliya by polling 48,778 votes. He came second to Gamini Dissanayake, who polled 65,903 votes while CWC leader S. Thondaman came a distant third with 35,743 votes.

During his political career, Anura switched sides on several occasions and held the post of the Speaker during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s two-year tenure as the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He held Higher Education portfolio during President D.B. Wijetunga’s administration.

During Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s presidency, Anura held two ministries namely Investment Promotion, Enterprise Development and Industries and Tourism. He was rewarded with the Foreign Affairs portfolio during the tail end of the Kumaratunga’s administration. He once entered Parliament on the National List.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed him Tourism Minister and subsequent to the last Cabinet reshuffle, he was given the Ministry of National Heritage. Mr. Bandaranaike quit the ministry in the run up to his last crossover on December 19th. Although he planned to return to the ministry after meeting President Rajapaksa, his illness prevented him from doing so.

Born on February 15th, 1949, Anura was educated at the Royal College, Colombo (1956-66). From there he entered the University of London (1970-73) and obtained his BA.

Before contesting the multi-member Nuwara Eliya District at the 1977 General Elections, Anura had held several important positions in the party. Since entering the House in 1977 he had never lost an election though he abandoned Nuwara Eliya and set up base in the Gampaha District. At the last general election, he polled a staggering 198,444 votes and was placed second behind JVP’s Vijitha Herath.

In November, 1983, at the age of 34 he was elected the Opposition Leader. Anura held a rare record that of sitting in the same parliament with his mother who held the premiership twice (1960-65 and 1970-77) during her illustrious career.

Anura switched allegiance to the UNP when he last attended Parliament on December 19 last year at the third reading of the Budget. Subsequently, he pledged his loyalty to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when the latter called on him at Visumpaya but poor health prevented him from returning to Parliament.

Sarana Gunawardene who polled 52,288 at the last General Election will fill the vacancy created by the death of the Gampaha District MP Anura Bandaranaike. Gunawardene (SLFP) contested on the UPFA ticket.

Army seizes control of public SLRC television

Reporters Without Borders today called for an explanation from President Mahinda Rajapakse after the army took control yesterday of public Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) television.

The army and police sealed off all roads leading to the station in the morning, preventing more than 200 staff from getting to work, a BBC correspondent reported, after employees threatened to strike in protest against a series of assaults by men "suspected of acting on behalf of a minister".

"The head of state should immediately order the army to withdraw from the station. This is in no way a good solution for ending escalating violence against SLRC staff since December 2007", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

"We urge the president to sanction the minister, Mervyn Silva, who is behind the violence which provoked this crisis." The takeover of the television station caused disruption to most programmes and in the aftermath the information ministry announced
"compulsory vacations" for all staff.

The corporation' s union representatives said that the authorities had decided to take control of the SLRC, in response to the strike threat. One union representative, Kanchana Marasinghe, said that many journalists feared for their lives and wanted the brutality brought to an end.

At least five staff have been physically assaulted in the past few weeks, some of them suffering serious knife wounds. All of them had protested at the actions of the labour minister, Mervyn Silva, who led a raid on the studios and assaulted the SLRC's news director on 27 December 2007.

The controversial minister's henchmen are suspected of being behind all the attacks on staff, in the latest of which, assistant director of supplies, Arunasiri Hettige, was beaten with iron bars in Colombo on 14 March.

Representatives of the corporation met the head of state on 17 March to discuss steps needed to protect staff. They called for the resignation of Mervyn Silva and for payment of compensation to the injured journalists. During the meeting, the head of state called on the minister to end the violence.

Elsewhere, the homes in Colombo of two well-known journalists, Sunethra Athugalpura of the newspaper Lakbima and Sashi Kumara of Sirasa TV, were burgled and ransacked in mysterious circumstances, on 16 March. Sunethra Athugalpura had recently interviewed Mervyn Silva.

Journalist's family attacked

The Free Media Movement (FMM)expresses it series concern over the attack on the family of a Tamil female journalist on 14th March 2008. The family of Maunasmi Parameshwari, herself a repeated victim of false accusations and lengthy detention by the Police on unfounded and unproven allegations, was attached by a mob that claimed they were supporters of the LTTE. Parameshwari's father and sister were seriously injured in the attack.

The mob had encircled the house and prevented those who were injured from seeking or gaining access to medical help. They also threatened to burn Paramashwari alive if she ever returned to Gampola. The Gampola Police had eventually rescued the family members. This is the not the first time that a gang of thugs had threatened Parameshwari and her family.

The FMM condemns this dastardly act and demands that the Police produce the gang members in court of law without any delay. We fear this incident could be a precedent for unruly anti-media groups to hunt down independent journalists labeled as traitors by various political groups and government authorities.

FMM holds the Government directly accountable for any harm inflicted to the family of Parameshwaree, Parameshwaree herself and courageous investigative journalists like her. Journalists who write critically of Government policies, its significant and growing corruption, the flagrant abuse of power and the complete impunity with which
Government MPs harass and physically attack media personnel live today in fear of their lives. The latest terror tactic by gangs close to sections of the Government and inflamed by the naming and shaming of journalists as traitors and supports of the LTTE clearly undermines media freedom and the freedom of expression.

Governance through terror and fear is the Government's forte today. It is the responsibility of all democratic forces to support journalists to ensure the restoration of democratic governance, the rule of law and through them, media freedom in Sri Lanka.

Back ground:

Parameshwari was arrested in November 2006 by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of Police and kept in custody for 100 days before releasing her in March 2007 without any charges. As we note in the FMM Press Release on the occasion of Parameshwaree's release from Police custody on 22nd March 2007,

"…the day after she was arrested, three Sinhala newspapers carried headline stories stating that as a result of the statements to the Police by her female friend, who was arrested with along with her, they were able to recovered 10kg of high explosives and 10 claymore mines. It was later discovered that this story was entirely fabricated and planted in the media. Even worse, several Government ministers went on record saying that she was being held in custody because of her connection with terrorists.

We note with deep regret that because of these baseless public allegations the family and friends of Parameshwaree will invariably continue to face a great deal of public opprobrium and ridicule, especially in a context where, as the FMM has noted with deep concern in the recent past, Members of Parliament and other ultra-nationalist groups opposed to the peace process brand pro-peace and media rights activists as those who support terrorism and should be, accordingly,
silenced even through extra-judicial means."

The Mawbima newspaper, where she worked as a crime reporter was forced to close down because of outlandishly repressive measures taken by the Government against the newspaper company including the arrest of its owner and financial manger as well as the freezing of its assets.

Incredibly, even after her release, Paramashwari received a number of threats and was kidnapped on 24th April 2007. She was forced into a van, her hands tied and then assaulted by several men in uniform who threatened her with death if she continued with crime reporting, investigations into the abductions or even worked in the media. After this incident she was constantly followed by security personnel in both uniform and in civilian clothing. On 14th June 2007, two persons posing as CID officials took away her Passport and National ID at gun point. Recently plainclothes policemen has visited the vicinity of her boarding place in Colombo and warned them not to rent any rooms for her.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Laugh A While

Some jokes to give you some insight into Sri Lankan culture and humor.

Udurawana's Getting Married
Udurawana's Girl Friend: "I'm one year elder than you....will it be effected badly to our marriage?"
Udurawana: "No, not at all. We'll marry next year."

Hidden Cameras
Mrs. Udurawana caught Udurawana searching high and low all around his living room.
Mrs. Udurawana: "What are you searching for?"
Mr. Udurawana: "Hidden cameras!"
Mrs. Udurawana: "And what makes you think that there are hidden cameras here?"
Mr. Udurawana: "That guy on TV knows exactly what I am doing. Every few minutes he keeps saying, 'You are watching Rupavahini channel'. How does he know that?"

Udurawana was enjoying the sun at the beach in America. A lady came and asked him, "Are you relaxing?"
Udurawana answered, "No, I am Udurawana."
Another guy came and asked him the same question.
Udurawana answered, "No! No! Me Udurawana!"
A third one came and asked him the same question again.
Udurawana was totally annoyed and decided to shift his place.
While walking he saw another Sri Lankan soaking in the sun.
He went up to him and asked, "Are you Relaxing?"
The other man was a lot more educated and answered, "Yes, I am relaxing."
Udurawana slapped him on his face and said, "Stupid idiot. Everyone is looking for you and you are sitting over here!"

The Wash Basin
Udurawana goes to a hotel in Colombo and stuffs himself. After eating he goes to wash his hands but starts washing the basin instead.
The manager comes running and asks him, "Sir, what are you doing?"
Udurawana replies, "Read this board here, it says 'Wash Basin.'"

English Exam
Udurawana finished his English exam and came out. His friends asked him how he did on his exam. He replied "Exam was okay, but for the past tense of THINK, I thought, thought and thought, at last I wrote THUNK!!!"

Answer the Following Questions in Brief
Udurawana is appearing for his University final examination. He takes his seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration takes his shoes off and throws them out of the window. He then removes his shirt and throws it away as well, followed by his pants, socks and watch.
The invigilator, alarmed, approaches him and asks what is going on.
"I am only following the instructions here," he says, "it says here, 'Answer the following questions in brief.'"

The English teacher told all the students in the class to write an essay on a cricket match. All were busy writing except Udurawana. He has written. "DUE TO RAIN, NO MATCH!!!"

The Postman
Postman: "I have to come 5 miles to deliver you this parcel."
Udurawana: "Why did you come so far? Instead you could have posted it."

Coffee Shop
Udurawana and his wife went to a coffee shop.
Udurawana said, "Hurry up! Drink quickly!"
His Wife asked, "Why?"
Udurawana said, "Hot Coffee Rs. 5 and Cold Coffee Rs 10!"

Letter to his Son
Udurawana was writing something very slowly.
A friend came and asked: "Why are you writing so slowly?"
Udurawana replies, "I'm writing to my 6 years old son. He can't read very fast."

How I Look When I'm Sleeping
Udurawana was standing in front of the mirror with his eyes closed.
His wife sees this and asks: "What you are doing?"
Udurawana replies, "I'm seeing how I look while I'm sleeping!"

Thought For The Day - Dental Care Sign

Sponsored Advert

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Tea Factory at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

For those interested in Ceylon Teas, The Tea Factory at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka is a must visit

It is an unique 4 star hotel, 4 deluxe rooms, 57 standard rooms; surrounded by hills and tea plantations, the town of Nuwara Eliya is the perfect getaway from Sri Lanka’s tropical heat.

Nuwara Eliya enjoys spring like weather throughout the year. A favourite retreat of the British during colonial times, Nuwara Eliya is dotted with English country style houses and sprawling gardens, earning it the name Little England. Stop by the well-maintained Central Park, which is awash with flowers between March and May. Make time for an evening stroll on the numerous walking paths around Gregory’s Lake, which is located just south of the town.

More details available at.....

For more info on Tea, please visit

Stripped Teas or Equal Exchange Small-Grower Teas

Recently, Stripped Teas or Equal Exchange Small-Grower Teas have become very popular

In a world of big business, it’s nice to see the little guy get some credit as well.
Enter Equal Exchange small-grower teas. Instead of sourcing from the industry-standard plantations, the West Bridgewater-based tea and coffee company is gathering specialty organic teas from small-scale, fair trade-certified tea growers.

It falls in line with fair trade coffee practices, giving tea farm co-ops in South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Northern India more bargaining power and a bigger piece of the pot. And since their teas are handpicked, they can offer special blends like Darjeeling First Flush and Second Flush (which come from either the first or second harvest). There’s also Ceylon Green Tea and Ceylon High Grown Black.

Each loose-leaf tea arrives in a reusable silver tin.

Which you can use time and again to really stick it to the man.

Some bag... and sublimnal advertising

Talk about sublimnal advertising !!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reason why never visit a 5 Star Hotel !!

Question : "What would you like to have .Fruit juice, Soda, Tea, Chocolate, Milo, or Coffee?"
Answer : "tea please"

Question : " Ceylon tea, Herbal tea, Bush tea, Honey bush tea, Ice tea or green tea ?"
Answer : "Ceylon tea "

Question : "How would you like it ? black or white ?"
Answer : "white"

Question : "Milk, Whitener, or Condensed milk ?"
Answer: "With milk "

Question : "Goat milk, Camel milk or cow milk"
Answer : "With cow milk please.

Question : " Milk from Freeze land cow or Afrikaner cow?"
Answer : " Um, I'll take it black. "

Question : " Would you like it with sweetener, sugar or honey?"
Answer : "With sugar"

Question : " Beet sugar or cane sugar ?"
Answer : "Cane sugar "

Question :" White , brown or yellow sugar ?"
Answer : "Forget about tea just give me a glass of water instead."

Question: "Mineral water or still water ? "
Answer : "Mineral water"

Question : "Flavored or non-flavored ?"

Answer : "I'll rather die of thirst !!!!!

Now where do we go from here.....

Thought for the day - Tim Stuart, Great Aviation Quotes reader

It was 1977 and we were on an old DC8 Air Ceylon coming in to Colombo, Ceylon from Bangkok.

The landing approach was pretty bumpy, but the biggest bump was saved for when we hit the tarmac - a massive shudder and shake - at least I hoped it was the runway..

We were soon however airborne again and climbing steeply when a voice with a heavy Indian accent came over the PA as follows: "I am sorry about the landing ladies and gentlemen, the pilot will now take over"

Is this for real ?